What is it and can my car drive it?

Woman filling petrol in car with child sitting in car.

Woman filling petrol in car with child sitting in car.

A more eco-friendly petrol is being introduced for filling stations.

The government intends to make E10 the new standard petrol grade.

The Department of Transportation (DfT) says changes are being made to cut carbon dioxide emissions – but not all cars will be able to run on it.

What is E10 Petrol?

It is a motor fuel that contains less carbon and more ethanol than the fuel currently on sale.

Ethanol is a type of alcohol that is produced from plants, including sugar beets and wheat.

It is possible to drive cars with pure ethanol, as has been the case in Brazil for many years.

But in the UK and other European countries, it is usually mixed with fuel derived from oil.

The current petrol grade in the UK – known as E5 – contains up to 5% ethanol, the other 95% being regular unleaded petrol.

His replacement, the E10, would raise this percentage to 10% – a ratio that would bring the UK in line with countries such as Belgium, Finland, France and Germany.

what does this mean?

The E10 will help reduce the total amount of fossil fuels needed to power UK cars.

It comes as the government announced a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030 as part of its climate-change goals.


Wheat is one of the crops used to make ethanol in Britain

DfT says the introduction of the E10 could cut carbon emissions by 750,000 tonnes annually, which is equivalent to taking 350,000 cars off the road.

How will the E10 affect my car?

Every petrol vehicle made after 2011 must accept the E10.

But it will not be compatible with some older vehicles – 600,000 of which are currently on UK roads, RAC estimates.

And if a car is not adapted to the new fuel, it can damage the engine.

How can I make sure I’m OK to use the E10?

The government has created a website where drivers can check whether their car will run on E10 fuel or not.

But it does warn that it will not be liable for any damage to vehicles resulting from drivers using its checker – especially if their car was fitted with replacement parts.

german petrol pump

E10 Petrol is already on sale in Germany

The website has a drop-down menu listing all manufacturers whose cars are sold in the UK, with details for all models that are not approved for new fuel.

“If you’re still not sure, use E5 petrol. It will still be available in Super grade at many filling stations,” says Sarkar.

Can I mix E5 and E10?

This shouldn’t be a problem.

In fact, RAC recommends drivers with an older car who accidentally fill an E10 with an E5 as soon as possible after using up a third of the tank.

Are there any other drawbacks?

If E10 fuel is poured into an incompatible car, it will still run according to RAC,

But in the long run, it can damage rubber seals, plastics and metals.

RAC says there have also been reports that the E10 is a less stable fuel.

And that can make it more difficult to start a car that hasn’t been driven in a long time.

Other motor industry analysts say the E10 may be a less efficient fuel than the E5, meaning cars will burn more of it to achieve the same effect and running costs will increase as drivers fill up more often. .

How green is it really?

This is the subject of some debate.

Ethanol is viewed as a carbon-neutral fuel, as plants absorb carbon dioxide from the air while growing, replenishing the CO2 emitted when the fuel burns.

However, no one is sure whether the two really cancel each other out.

And some people have a moral objection to using food crops to produce fuel.

They say this could lead to a food shortage or a rise in food prices.

Still, if ethanol is really good for the planet, there probably should be even more in petrol, some environmental campaigners say.

After all, Brazil, which pioneered its use in the 1970s, has so-called “flex-fuel” vehicles on its roads that run on any mixture of petroleum and ethanol, up to the all-ethanol E100.

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