posted 6 years ago

New Green Fuel Could Cost Motorists Billions

New Environmentally Friendly Fuel Could Increase Consumption

Motorists in the United Kingdom could see fuel consumption rise considerably when a new environmentally friendly fuel is introduced, What Car? has claimed. Until recently, unleaded petrol could only contain up to 5% ethanol which minimises carbon emissions from the tailpipe. This mix is called E5. However, since March 2013 a revised British Standard for petrol – known as EN228 - has permitted oil companies to supply a blend which contains up to 10% ethanol. This is called E10. Its forthcoming introduction will help the government satisfy the terms of the Renewable Energy Directive that requires 10% of road transport energy to be from renewable sources by 2020. Ethanol, of course, can be produced from corn and sugar cane which can be replenished easier than oil. The concern is that E10 provides about 30% less energy than pure petrol, which is known as E0. The result is that a vehicle running the more environmentally fuel might require more of it to perform consistently – in terms of acceleration, etc. - than if it was burning E0 or E5. As such, What Car? has assessed its impact on various everyday vehicles.

What Car? Test: The Impact Of E10 Compared To E0

A MINI Paceman 1.6-litre Turbo returned 2.1mpg less on E10 than E0, and its emissions rose 1%. A Hyundai i30 1.4, in contrast, was 3.9mpg less efficient and its emissions increased 5.7%. Furthermore, a Dacia Sandero 0.9-litre managed 5.1mpg less – and its emissions increased 7.3% - and a Toyota Prius 1.8 Hybrid returned 2.4mpg less. Carbon emissions were 1.7% higher. However, it is important to note that these figures compare E0 with E10 – whereas some motorists have been burning E5 for years. As such, some might find any variation less dramatic but any increase in consumption hurts motorists financially (particularly those that cover lots of miles). And there is a further potential concern and inconvenience. What Car? has revealed that millions of vehicles might not be compatible with the environmentally friendly fuel. As a rule of thumb, cars built after 2002 should operate normally but there are exceptions up to 2009. A UK list of problem cars is being compiled. The probable solution – assuming that E5 completely vanishes from the forecourts - is that motorists will add a fuel supplement. This will be a simple process which is familiar to owners of classic cars  that were designed to burn leaded fuel.