Green shock for drivers filling up with fuel this month
Drivers of 700,000 older cars will be shocked to find they are paying around 11p a litre more to fill up with fuel this month to help fight climate change.
From this Wednesday (September 1) filling stations across the UK will be switching from the standard (95 octane) E5 petrol to greener E10 regular petrol to reduce greenhouse emissions, although diesel fuel will not be changing. Northern Ireland will make the move in early 2022,
This new petrol has been blended with 10 per cent bioethanol, instead of 5 per cent previously, which is made from renewables such as sugar beet, crops, low-grade grains and waste wood.
“The problem is that drivers of some cars more than ten years old have been advised against using the new E10 renewable ethanol petrol because it could damage seals, plastics and metals in engines if used over a long time,” said Midlands energy expert Ron Fox.
For those motorists whose cars are incompatible with E10 fuel they will still be able to buy E5 but this will be only the more expensive ‘super unleaded’ grade 97+ octane and not the regular one.
“The difficulty for drivers will also be to find the cheapest super unleaded fuel as most roadside price boards show pump prices only for regular unleaded and diesel prices,” said Ron.
The Department for Transport estimates that the move to E10 petrol, which is part of the government’s long-term goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, could cut carbon dioxide emissions by 750,000 tonnes a year – the equivalent of taking 350,000 cars off the road, or all the cars in North Yorkshire.
The government accepts that using E10 petrol could reduce slightly the number of miles you can drive on a gallon of petrol by around one per cent. But they point out that driving with under-inflated tyres or a roof rack has a much more significant impact on fuel economy.
Around 95 per cent of petrol-powered vehicles on the road are compatible with E10, including all new cars manufactured since 2011 and most cars and motorcycles manufactured since the late 1990s
However, classic, cherished and older vehicles; some specific models, particularly those from the early 2000s and some mopeds, including those with an engine size of 50cc or under may not be compatible with E10 petrol.
To check if your car can run on E10 go to www.gov.uk/check-vehicle-e10-petrol
The government also points out that E10 petrol is already widely used around the world, including across Europe, the US and Australia and has been the reference fuel against which new cars are tested for emissions and performance since 2016.
“It is good to see the government looking at every area of our lives to cut our carbon emissions, but I accept there will be a cost and some pain for owners of older cars,” said Ron, of Noreus Ltd, on the University of Keele Science and Innovation Park in North Staffordshire.
For more information on cutting your carbon footprint call Ron on 0845 474 6641.
Caption: Pumping it out – the new greener E10 regular petrol to reduce greenhouse emissions.