Since September 2021, E10 fuel has been rolled out across the UK as the new default unleaded petrol found in fuel stations. This has been put in place in order to reduce CO2 road emissions by as much as 750,000 tonnes per year. The E5 petrol that was previously the standard fuel is still available in some stations for vehicles that need it, but not as default.
What is E10 fuel?
E10 fuel is a biofuel that is made up of 10% ethanol and 90% regular unleaded, giving it the name E10. Standard unleaded fuel or E5 fuel contains 5% ethanol and 95% regular unleaded and this can be used in any vehicle with a petrol engine without any issues or the need to modify the car in any way.
With E10 fuel, things can get slightly more complicated depending on the age of the petrol vehicle.
Is your car compatible with E10 fuel?
The government anticipates that around 95% of petrol vehicles are compatible with E10 fuel, however, it is estimated there are still 600,000 older cars on the roads that aren’t compatible with E10 fuel. As it stands, all petrol vehicles manufactured after 2011 are compatible with E10 fuel but there are some vehicles, such as classic cars, that are incompatible and will unfortunately start to deteriorate as a result.
If you are not sure whether your car is compatible with E10 fuel, you can visit the official government E10 online checker to find out, preferably before you fill up for the first time with E10 fuel!
What if your car isn’t compatible?
If your car isn’t compatible with E10, it is not the end of the world. Luckily, super unleaded E5 petrol will still be available in most petrol stations all over the country for older cars that cannot run efficiently on E10.
Unfortunately, those with cars which aren’t compatible with E10 will find themselves paying up to 25p more per litre for super unleaded E5.
So, is E10 good or bad?
It depends. If you look at E10 for the environmental benefits and carbon offsetting properties, it is a great step towards helping the government meet its emissions targets. E10 is already used in other countries such as France, Finland, Belgium and Germany in their fight to slash emissions from their roads.
But If you look on the other hand, E10 is a less efficient blend of fuel when compared to E5, which can lead to issues in smaller engine vehicles and damage in older vehicles.
Unfortunately, there are also drivers who have no choice but to use E5 fuel to run their older car and the price of fuel can quickly add up for those who drive a lot of miles to get to work. Also, people who drive cars which are compatible with E10 will get less miles to the gallon as the fuel is less efficient and contains 5% more ethanol than E5.
Action must be taken to minimise road emissions, however the introduction of E10 as the standard petrol will cause problems for many.