‘Greener’ E10 petrol is now readily available at petrol stations across the country.
E10 petrol is blended with up to 10% ethanol, which is made up of materials such as grains, sugars and waste wood.
According to the Department for Transport, this introduction could cut transport CO2 emissions by 750,000 tonnes per year, this is equivalent to taking 350,000 cars off the road.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: ‘Every journey matters as we drive forward the green industrial revolution, which is why the rollout of E10 is so important. It’ll help us cut road greenhouse gas emissions and meet our ambitious net-zero targets.
‘Although more and more drivers are switching to electric, there are steps we can take today to reduce emissions from the millions of vehicles already on our roads – the small switch to E10 petrol will reduce greenhouse gas emissions as we accelerate towards a greener transport future.’
The government has said that 95% of vehicles are compatible with E10.
However, research conducted by the RAC Foundation has revealed that 27% of drivers are yet to check whether their car is compatible.
Of the drivers surveyed who know their car is not compatible with E10, the impact of the cost of having to fill up with super unleaded instead – which can cost around 12p more per litre – is the single biggest concern.
Around half (53%) are worried about finding forecourts that sell E5 super unleaded in the first place, while a fifth (20%) fear mistakenly filling up with E10 – something that may cause expensive damage to non-compliant vehicles.
RAC head of policy Nicholas Lyes said: ‘E10 petrol has already started appearing on forecourts to replace the old E5 blend, and that process will continue at pace in the coming weeks.
‘But while the vast majority of drivers of petrol cars aren’t affected, a sizeable minority will be and the only way to be sure is to use the official online checker. Those that discover their cars aren’t compatible will, unfortunately, need to seek out and pay for a hefty premium for E5 super unleaded fuel instead.
‘The cost of doing this could quickly add up for people who need to use their cars regularly, something our research shows all too plainly. Drivers who will continue to rely on E5 will also need to make sure the filling station their visiting stocks the fuel in the first place, or risk running out of fuel and having to call on their breakdown provider.
‘We’d also like to remind owners of classic cars that need to be careful not to accidentally top up with E10 and then leave it sat unused in the tank for long periods, something which can lead to expensive damaged plastics, metals and seals.’
Photo by Sophie Jonas