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18th Sep, 2021

E10 petrol changes come into effect TODAY - all you need to know

Stratford Editorial 1st Sep, 2021

E10 petrol now being served at fuel pumps.

  • pumps up and down the country will now serve greener E10 petrol which could cut transport emissions by the equivalent of taking 350,000 cars off the road each year
  • drivers can check to see if their vehicle is compatible, with E5 petrol remaining available for the minority of older vehicles which aren’t compatible
  • introduction will boost job opportunities in England, making way for a green industrial revolution as we build back better and reduce our carbon footprint
  • Fuel pumps across Great Britain are now greener, with the introduction of E10 as the new standard grade of petrol, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced today (1 September 2021).

Over 95% of all petrol vehicles are compatible with E10, with the small number of older vehicles, including classic cars and some from the early 2000s, still able to access E5 petrol in the ‘Super’ grade.

All new cars manufactured since 2011 are compatible with E10 petrol, and most cars and motorcycles manufactured since the late 1990s are also approved by manufacturers to use E10.

The following vehicles, however, may not be compatible with E10 petrol:

  • classic, cherished and older vehicles
  • some specific models, particularly those from the early 2000s
  • some mopeds, particularly those with an engine size of 50cc or under

Motorists should use the government’s free online E10 checker to see if their vehicle is compatible.

E10 will not be more expensive at the pump than current standard petrol. Although using E10 petrol can marginally impact fuel economy – generally around 1% – this will be almost unnoticeable to most drivers when making every day journeys.

E10 petrol – which is blended with up to 10% renewable ethanol and made up of materials such as low-grade grains, sugars and waste wood, making it greener than existing petrol – could cut transport CO2 emissions by 750,000 tonnes per year, which is the equivalent of taking 350,000 cars off of UK roads.

The move will help Britain reach its climate change goals as we prepare to host COP26 this November and makes it easier for people across the country to switch to greener lifestyles.

The E10 rollout will also support the increased production of biofuels at bioethanol plants in the north-east of England. Not only will this boost job opportunities in England, with the two big plants providing around 200 skilled jobs directly, it will also support thousands in the wider economy including in the agriculture sector that supply the feed-wheat needed to run the plant.

This will help to build a new green economy, revitalising our industrial heartlands and supporting the UK’s wider bioeconomy as we build back greener from the pandemic.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:

Every journey matters as we drive forward the green industrial revolution, which is why the rollout of E10 is so important. It’ll help us cut road greenhouse gas emissions and meet our ambitious net zero targets.

Although more and more drivers are switching to electric, there are steps we can take today to reduce emissions from the millions of vehicles already on our roads – the small switch to E10 petrol will reduce greenhouse gas emissions as we accelerate towards a greener transport future.

Edmund King OBE, AA president, said

This is a positive and simple step to help reduce the carbon impact from road transport. While the vast majority of vehicles will be unaffected by the change, it is important for owners of older cars to use the government’s vehicle checker to see if they can use E10.

Even if E10 is put in a non-compliant vehicle, drivers should not panic and can simply put super unleaded in their tank at the next available opportunity.

What to do if you put E10 in an incompatible car

According to the RAC the consequence of putting E10 fuel in an incompatible vehicle depends on the vehicle/engine variant and how much fuel has been put in.

The RAC say:

“It may cause some pre-detonation (‘pinking’), and perhaps a little rough running and poor cold starting, but it shouldn’t be a disaster for the driver.

“Simply top up with the correct fuel suitable for the vehicle as soon as possible when around a third to half the tank is used.”

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