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Upcoming Fuel Changes in UK Petrol Stations

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In 2019, we can expect to see changes in how our fuel is described to us in petrol stations and the possible introduction of greener fuel choices.

Do you know exactly what you’re putting into your vehicles fuel tank? By September 2019, new E5 and B7 petrol pump labels will tell you the exact levels of biofuel and ethanol in the fuel you’re using.

The introduction of these new labels aims to help drivers “choose the right fuel” for their vehicle and help reduce the CO2 emissions from everyday road vehicles.

You may be wondering ‘what is E5 and B7?’ and ‘what are biofuels and ethanol?’. We explain below:

What is E5 Fuel?

E5 is commonly known as Unleaded Petrol and is made from a mixture of 5% ethanol and 95% gasoline.

What is B7 Fuel?

B7 is what we all know as Diesel and is comprised of 7% biofuel.

What are Biofuels?

Biofuels are designed to replace gasoline, diesel and coal, formally called “fossil fuels” because they are made from animals and plants that died millions of years ago.

What is Ethanol?

Ethanol is an alcohol-based fuel produced from fossil fuels and it is often used as a biofuel.

Will E10 be Introduced in the UK?

In July last year, to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the Department for Transport issued a call for evidence on whether E10 petrol should be introduced into UK petrol stations.

E10 is a biofuel made up of 90% regular unleaded and 10% ethanol. Compared to E5 (standard unleaded petrol), the ethanol in E10 absorbs carbon dioxide which reduces the level of greenhouse gas emissions it produces by 2%, making it eco-friendlier.

Standard unleaded fuel (E5) can be used in any petrol car, however E10 isn’t so universally car-friendly as around 800,000 cars would be incompatible, which is why it’s not yet been introduced in the UK.

Targets set out in the Paris Agreement have put the UK under pressure to meet the CO2 reduction goals. So, with the introduction of these new, clearer labels for ‘Standard Unleaded and ‘Diesel’, it’s likely we’ll see E10 introduced in the UK before the end of 2019.

A spokesperson from the DfT said that “the ongoing decarbonising of traditional fuels” will help towards its emission elimination Road to Zero strategy.

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Date added: 28th February 2019