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The government is set to introduce a greener type of petrol to forecourts this September as it looks to escalate its plans to cut emissions.

While it’s already confirmed that from 2030 all new petrol cars have to be plug-in hybrids or EVs, the government is also looking to do its bit to cut emissions from existing petrol cars.

Called E10, this new fuel contains up to 10 per cent of ethanol, which is more than double the E5 currently commonly found at petrol stations. As its name suggests, it contains up to five per cent of ethanol.

Set to be rolled out from September, it’s set to become the default choice and the government says that the use of the fuel could be equal to having 350,000 fewer cars being on the road, or 750,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.

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.”

The E10 fuel will be compatible with modern cars, though some older cars will continue to need to use the existing E5 fuel, which the government says will continue to be used in the more expensive ‘super’ versions of the fuel.

While you can click here to see if your car will be able to run on the new E10 fuel, it’s classic cars and some models from the earlier 2000s that should continue to use E5. The RAC says an estimated 700,000 models should avoid using E10 to avoid damaging some plastics, seals and metals within an engine.

Motoring organisations have expressed concern about drivers using the E10 fuel, though.

Simon Williams, fuel spokesman at the RAC, said: “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 use of the E10 fuel isn’t expected to cost more than current petrol, though the RAC has expressed concern about the rising cost of bioethanol, which could have a knock-on effect when it comes to pump prices.

Ted Welford

By

February 25, 2021