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New E10 low emission petrol is here, here's what you need to know...

By Stephen Turvil | August 14, 2021


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New E10 petrol is here - but most of the UK's motorists don't have a clue what it is. So here's a quick guide to help...

New E10 low emission petrol is here, here's what you need to know...

E10 is the new, eco-friendly, low emission petrol reportedly available from September 2021 but we believe it's at some supermarkets fuel stations now. Its purpose is to reduce the pollution from cars, vans, trucks and other vehicles that cause health issues. There are potential downsides, though. E10 may slightly compromise fuel efficiency and is incompatible with many older vehicles. Some experts argue it may even damage old vehicles. 

E10 fuel explained

E10 is a blend of unleaded petrol and up to 10% ethanol. It replaces E5 that contains up to 5% ethanol. The petrol comes via crude oil which is a fossil fuel that cannot be easily replaced. In contrast, ethanol can come from easily renewable sources such as low-grade grains, sugars, and waste food. The Government confirmed:

‘By blending petrol with up to 10% renewable ethanol, less fossil fuel is needed. This helps reduce carbon emissions and meet climate change targets.’ The Government expects emissions to fall by 750,000 tonnes a year once the new fuel is widely available - equivalent to taking 350,000 cars off the road.

Online vehicle checker

The Government claimed that 95% of petrol vehicles are compatible with E10. This includes all cars manufactured since 2011. Many older vehicles are compatible, however. Broadly speaking, classic models are far more likely to be incompatible with E10. So too are ‘specific models’ of car from the early 2000s. 

The Government’s E10 Vehicle Checker reveals which vehicles are compatible with the new fuel... www.gov.uk/check-vehicle-e10-petrol.

New E10 low emission petrol is here, here's what you need to know...  Image

Potential damage

E10 may cause mechanical issues with incompatible vehicles, some experts fear. The RAC suggested it may corrode engine seals, plastics, and metals. However, if there are issues they are more likely to emerge over time. E10 is not expected to cause immediate problems.

E5 still available

E5 will still be available alongside its new counterpart at some large forecourts, via the ‘super unleaded’ pumps. How long it remains available is yet to be seen. E10 fuel can be mixed with E5.

Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, praised the new fuel and its environmental benefits. He argued: ‘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 journeys’.

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