01 October 2021

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There has been a lot of comment in the media recently regarding the change from E5 to E10 petrol across UK forecourts.

As a leading fuel management company, at Allstar Business Solutions we believe the change should have limited effect for most fleets, albeit with some exceptions.

What is E10 petrol?

E10 petrol contains a blend of up to 10% renewable ethanol, introduced with the aim of reducing emissions. E5 contains up to 5% renewable ethanol.

According to the Department for Transport, the increased volume of renewable ethanol in fuel, supplanting fossil- derived fuel, means the introduction of E10 petrol at UK forecourts could “cut transport CO2emissions by 750,000 tonnes a year – the equivalent of taking 350,000 cars off the road, or all the cars in North Yorkshire.

Should fleets be concerned?

E10 petrol is already used across Europe, in the US and Australia, and since 2016 official testing and emissions procedures have used it. So, for the vast majority of vehicles (the DfT believes around 95%), E10 should cause no problem. Indeed, it states that all new cars manufactured since 2011 are compatible with E10 petrol, and most cars and motorcycles manufactured since the late 1990s are also approved by manufacturers to use E10.

With most fleet vehicles falling within these parameters, Allstar believes that most businesses should encounter no problems.

Indeed, Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “Vehicle manufacturers have been preparing for its introduction for many years so drivers can be reassured that it is compatible with most cars currently on the road. Together with the introduction of new electrified vehicles, the range of which is accelerating rapidly, this new fuel will help reduce the overall emissions of road transport for many years to come.” 

What are the exceptions?

There are some vehicles that can’t use E10, according to the Government. These are:

  • Classic cars
  • Some specific models, with most being manufactured from the early 2000s
  • Some mopeds, particularly those with under 50cc

If you are concerned, the Government has an online vehicle checker available here.

Government advice is that for any vehicle not able to run on E10, super unleaded fuel should be used, which remains at E5 level.

Does E10 increase fuel consumption or costs

The Government has said that it believes E10 could increase fuel consumption by a small amount - perhaps around one percent.

In terms of cost, it is too early to ascertain of the introduction of E10 has had any effect on the overall price of petrol, but Allstar will be monitoring the situation and reporting on the UK fuel price picture and overall trends later in the year.

Can equipment, such as generators, use E10?

This is a more complex area, and many engines in generators, mowers and marine engines will not be able to use E10. Again, the advice is that for any motor not able to run on E10, super unleaded fuel should be used instead, or if you are unsure, please check the website of the manufacturer or ask your supplier.

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