E10 petrol to be introduced at pumps from September

Around 700,000 cars registered prior to 2002 unable to use E10 fuel but E5 will continue to be available in ‘super’ grade

The Department for Transport has confirmed E10 petrol will be introduced at UK forecourts in September.

The fuel, which consists of 90 per cent unleaded petrol and 10 per cent bioethanol, could cut transport CO2 emissions by 750,000 tonnes a year – the equivalent of taking 350,000 cars off the road.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “We’re going further and faster than ever to cut emissions from our roads, cleaning up our air as we accelerate towards a zero-emission transport future.

“Although more and more motorists are driving electric vehicles, there are steps we can take to reduce emissions from the millions of vehicles already on our roads – the small switch to E10 petrol will help drivers across the country reduce the environmental impact of every journey, as we build back greener.”

Older vehicles, including some from the early 2000s, that cannot run on the new fuel can continue to be filled with E5 fuel, which will be maintained in a ‘super’ grade.

The DfT has developed an online E10 compatibility checker and published guidance for motorists.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “The switch to E10 petrol is clearly good news for the environment and will not affect the vast majority of the UK’s 33m car drivers although some may see the number of miles they get from a tank go down as research suggests E10 is potentially slightly less efficient.

“It’s estimated that around 700,000 cars registered prior to 2002 shouldn’t use E10 as seals, plastics and metals may be damaged by its corrosive properties if used exclusively over longer periods.

“It’s vital that anyone with an older vehicle gets the message about the switch otherwise they could end up with a big repair bill.

“Those with no option but to continue using E5 will have to fork out quite a lot of extra money as super grade unleaded is currently 136p a litre which is over 13p more expensive than regular petrol.

“There’s also a danger that E5 premium grade petrol may be harder to find in some more rural locations.”

The confirmation follows a consultation with drivers and industry, in which 208 responses were submitted.

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