posted 5 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. 


Increasing the concentration of ethanol in fuel might give some people the impression that they're doing the planet a favour, but in effect we're encouraging (probably) third world countries to 'grow our fuel' for us in the form of maize for turning into alcohol, which will increase their dependency on food imports. After all, they can't eat money.

The fact that ethanol is a solvent makes it unsuitable for many older cars.In Germany there was a problem because BP were concerned about who would pay for the resultant damage

It is the EU and its stupid directives which has driven up motoring costs over many years, and although engine technology has given improved mpg most drivers nowadays do not know what its like to drive a car using proper 98 or 100 octane petrol, and a car which is not strangled by DPF and CAT converters, without these heavy additions mpg would be vastly improved, and over the last 30 years drivers have just accepted the changes and never questioned them, I quite sure that with modern technology engine manufacturers can make engines run clean without all the gummage that the EU make us drag around. Electric cars are false economy which will eventually necessitate more nuclear power stations, and whatever mode of propulsion is fostered upon us, the government will tax it because there is no motoring lobby in Britain, as the motoring organisations we belong to do not represent the motorist, they are businesses owned by large corporations which only exist to make money. The EU will make motoring more expensive in the coming years because of new tyre laws and many other nasty little things yet to be introduced, enjoy motoring while you can

Another government underhand switch to deceive the people, when will they learn to ask our option which would be the right way to make any changes of such an important nature.

Not to mention that Ethanol attacks rubber and some plastics, and if left absorbs water.

A Nissan leaf can recharge to 80% full in under 30 mins on a rapid charger of which more and more are being put in service stations

So what's the point? You use more of it and the emissions are higher. Not very green is it. Not that I'm too bothered as I run on LPG. Same mpg , lower emissions and around half the price of petrol....

Its a typical "knee jerk" reaction in the same way that catalytic converters were forced in while proper engineers in car plants were devising more efficient engines. A vote holder. Ford and others are producing vastly more efficient petrol engines now such as the 1.0 in the small Fords. Let the engineers do the work not those who shout the loudest!

Obviously a nice little earner for Her Majesty's government to waste. I bet that there is no tax reduction for the new fuel

Bring on the electric car? Really? Hmm, let's see then. If I were to make a trip to see family in Manchester it would take about two and a half hours each way, 300 mile round trip at a cost of about £45 total on unleaded. Now, take the Nissan Leaf, for example. It has a range of about 90 miles and takes about 8 hours to recharge fully. So, if I set off at midday I would get to Doncaster for about 2pm where I would need to find a charging station and refuel the cells, book into a hotel for about £50 and continue my journey the following day. Then on returning I would need to do the same thing. So it may only cost me about 15/16 quid in electric, but over £100 in other travel costs....I think I'll keep my inefficient and 'un-green' s40 thanks.

The other issue not so far mentioned is the with higher ethanol content, steel tanks with this fuel will attract water more readily, resulting in corrosion that for classic vehicle owners will be another problem to deal with. And what for? No tangible benefit. Why can't our civil servants ignore daft regulations like this, just as many others do in the EU?

How can E10 be more environmentally friendly if it increases consumption and carbon emissions?

E10 has been out in Australia for a while. It can block up the injection system on older vehicles ie 5 years and more unless the engine is regularly serviced. Our older Ford Ka's and Toyota Yaris suffered with high fuel consumption directly caused by this. The recommendation is one tank of E10 to 4 of normal 91 or plus Octane. Diesel has a different "green" (allegedly) formula.

So we're going to turn our finite fertile land over from food production to fuel production to satisfy our vehicle consumption addiction – oh how very green – get real!

Just another so called "green" move that won't make any noticeable difference to the world we live in, other than an excuse for the government to squander more money from an already squeezed motorists pocket. Given E10 will be cheaper to produce the greedy government will make even more money. How about abolishing VED as a little something back to the motorist?

Oh, for heavens sake.... bring on the electric car. Get rid of petrol altogether, I'm sick of paying for it!!

Is all this information applies to Petrol & diesel equally?