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Learn about E10 petrol and how it can benefit you!

What is E10 petrol?

E10 petrol is the exciting new petrol grade that is being standardised across the UK, since it was introduced to petrol stations in September 2021. It is a new type of unleaded petrol and is currently used across Europe, America and Australia. This is because of the global effort to reduce carbon emissions from vehicles.

The name E10 is because the petrol is made up of 90% oil and 10% renewable ethanol. This is double the old standard petrol grade E5 which only contained 5% ethanol. Luckily, 95% of cars can use E10 petrol and all cars made from 2011 can use it! However, if you are still unsure, you can use the UK Government’s checker tool to see if your car is compatible with the fuel here: https://www.gov.uk/check-vehicle-e10-petrol

One of the main benefits of using E10 petrol is that it’s cheaper to buy than E5. You should never be confused at a petrol station, as all pumps will have a label, distinguishing the two types of unleaded petrol. 

Because the government is planning to offset the country’s carbon emissions, it is important that if you can, you should fill up your tank with E10 petrol. Some countries such as France and Sweden are providing E85 fuel! We still have to do our bit to help save the planet!

Environmental benefits:

The environmental benefits of E10 petrol are fantastic for vehicle owners because they can provide guilt-free trips. This is because ethanol is an alcohol made from grains, wheat and beets. It’s not drinkable (not that anyone would want to) and can play a massive role in helping to reduce carbon emissions. 

E10 is made of crops that typically absorb more CO2 than the amount the fuel releases. The Government predicts that the cleaner fuel might reduce CO2 emissions by 750,000 tonnes. That is the same as taking 350,000 cars off the road! How amazing?

We are all included in the goal to reduce our effects on the environment. The Government set out plans to stop the production of new diesel cars by 2030 and hybrid cars by 2035. Moreover, there is a plan to phase out petrol and diesel heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) by 2040 that should help the country to join others in the fight against climate change.

Another reason to reduce the number of oils we use is that fossil fuels are becoming more and more finite to source. By moving to renewable ethanol, it’s easier to reproduce through the growing of crops, especially when they absorb lots of carbon dioxide. 

Arguments against it:

Despite experts and the public singing the praises of E10 petrol, it doesn’t come without its limitations. One of the ways E10 is being held back from being a great energy source for cars is due to its novelty, as not all cars can currently run on it. This could pose problems for those who can only still use E5 petrol who are more at risk of putting the wrong fuel in their tank.

Because of the inequality of the need for the different types of fuel, this could drive prices for E5 further for those unfortunate. 

However, the main inequality will come from the demand for more crops needed to make renewable fuel. This could come from more mass deforestation due to the need for more space to grow the crops. 

Another issue that comes with an increase in demand is that the food prices could rise as crops needed for the E10 petrol will be favoured. This comes from a report published in July 2008, where a study carried out between 2002 and 2008 showed that biofuels drove the prices of foods like corn and sugar had a global price rise of 70%.

Is E5 still available? What Happens if I fill up my car with E10?

Whenever there is a newer, shinier model of anything, there is always a crowd of people worried about whether or not the older model is still in use. The same is no different for E10 and E5 petrol. Luckily for owners of older vehicles, E5 is still in use and you can see on the pump which one is which.

Although, despite the fact it is still in use, E5 petrol may come under another name than E10 petrol. Such examples of what to look for are ‘super’, ‘premium’ or ‘performance’ fuel, because E5 fuel is being used less and less, it means that it is becoming more of a premium product. 

With the new fuel alternative becoming increasingly popular, you may find yourself accidentally reaching for E10 petrol instead of your car’s preferred E5. If this is the case, do not panic. Yes, using incompatible fuel can damage your tank, but that happens over a longer period of time due to the way the fuel components interact with your tank. 

If you happen to find yourself in this situation, make sure to refill your tank with E5 petrol as soon as it is possible to alleviate the effects of using the wrong fuel. 

Extra information:

There are many more facts you should know about when it comes to E10 petrol because of its novelty. Contrastingly to the previous dilemma provided, if your car can run on E10 petrol, it is perfectly fine to mix and alternate between the two. So if you end up at a petrol station with one of the pumps being empty, have no fear as you can use the other to top up your tank. 

If you are unsure which petrol grade your car is compatible with, make sure to look at the tank refill cap as vehicles manufactured from 2019 should have the E10 label. 

Did you know that it is also important to check your other vehicles and garden appliances, as not all boats or petrol-powered garden equipment can use E10 petrol? Always make sure to ask the seller before making a purchase. 

Another concern some drivers have expressed is whether or not it affects your charge rate in Clean Air Zones (CAZ). CAZ daily rates are only based on cars’ Euro emissions standards and not based on fuel that you use so make sure to do your own research before driving through one otherwise you might have to end up paying. 

E10 petrol is becoming more and more popular as the Government moves ahead with its green initiatives to help the country reach net-zero by 2050. So expect to see the new fuel a lot more in the future!

1 thought on “Learn about E10 petrol and how it can benefit you!”

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