THE Department for Transport has announced E10 unleaded petrol will replace E5 as the standard petrol grade from September 1, 2021.
Regular unleaded will change from its existing E5 standard to E10 as part of a government drive to reduce CO2 emissions from transport.
What is the difference between E5 and E10 petrol?
E10 is a biofuel used in transportation that contains 10% renewable ethanol instead of the previous standard petrol grade – E5 or super grade petrol – which contains up to five percent ethanol.
In simple terms, regular petrol containing 10% of bioethanol is called E10 or ‘premium’ petrol.
The Government says the introduction of E10 petrol will help reduce transport-related CO2 emissions.
While all cars manufactured after 2011 are compatible with E10, and most vehicles manufactures since the late 1990s have also been approved for use.
The following vehicles 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
Is E10 better than E5?
Ethanol is renewable, colourless alcohol which is made from agricultural sources such as sugar beets.
The higher percentage of ethanol in E10 helps reduce the amount of CO2 a vehicle produces, as ethanol absorbs CO2 as it is produced.
Another benefit of ethanol-blended fuel is that ethanol can be sourced easily from processed corn which supports businesses in the farming and manufacturing sector.
E10 is widely used in various countries within Europe, such as Finland, France, Germany and Belgium, and outside Europe, including Australia.
E10 is becoming the standard petrol grade in Great Britain, meaning E10 petrol will be available at almost all petrol stations across England, Scotland and Wales.
Which petrol is cheaper?
In theory, the introduction of E10 should not increase the price of regular unleaded at the pump as it is fractionally cheaper to produce.
However, the DfT says that a car’s average fuel consumption will worsen by around 1.6 per cent as a result of moving from E5 to E10 petrol, meaning drivers will end up paying more to run their car.
Drivers who cannot use the new fuel will also be expected to pay more.
E5 will only be available as the more expensive, higher-octane super unleaded.