Plans for cleaner petrol at pumps

The government is planning to introduce a new form of ‘cleaner’ petrol aimed at cutting carbon dioxide emissions.

A consultation has started which proposes the introduction of E10 petrol for UK vehicles.

Unleaded petrol currently contains up to 5% bioethanol, a grade known as E5, whereas E10 petrol contains up to 10% bioethanol and is not currently available.

The consultation is:

  • Proposing introducing E10 petrol as the 95 octane ‘Premium’ grade
  • Proposing ensuring the ongoing availability of E5 petrol in the higher octane ‘Super’ grade only
  • Proposing amending the mandatory labelling of E10 petrol
  • Launching a call for evidence on future transport biofuels policy

The government says that introducing E10 petrol:

  • Will reduce CO2 emissions from petrol vehicles
  • Could help the UK meet emissions reductions targets

Transport secretary Grant Shapps said the new petrol had the potential to reduce CO2 emissions from cars and motorcycles by approximately 750,000 tonnes per year, or the equivalent of taking around 350,000 cars off the road.

He said: “The next 15 years will be absolutely crucial for slashing emissions from our roads, as we all start to feel the benefits of the transition to a zero-emission future.” 

“But before electric cars become the norm, we want to take advantage of reduced CO2 emissions today.

“This small switch to petrol containing bioethanol at 10% will help drivers across the country reduce the environmental impact of every journey.”

Mr Shapps said the proposed new fuel was the latest in a series of steps to help the UK move towards “a net zero future”.

The Department for Transport said the announcement is the latest measure to support the “decarbonisation of transport” including funding for pioneering low carbon fuels, which are expected to save nearly 85 million tonnes of CO2 between 2018 and 2032.

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