e10 petrol

The UK is switching to E10 petrol – here’s what you need to know

By now, you’ve probably heard all about E10 (although the details may have been lost amongst the furore of some, er, other fuel news that’s been happening lately). So, let’s give you a quick refresher. The government recently announced that they’d be introducing E10 fuel to the UK, making it the standard fuel across the country. But the news hasn’t reached everyone; according to the RAC, almost a quarter of motorists are unaware of the changes, and a further 27% aren’t sure whether their car is even compatible with the new fuel.

It’s certainly a subject worth getting clued up on if you’re a commercial driver, so if you’ve recently started looking for the best new van deals for your business, here we’ll explain the essentials of what you need to know about E10, and what benefits there are from the move.

What are the government’s plans for E10 fuel?

Although it isn’t just yet, the government plans to make E10 the new standard petrol grade across the country. The move comes as the government tries to cut the UK’s carbon emissions to net-zero by 2050, which isn’t far away! Whilst E10 isn’t actually net-zero, it does contain a lot less carbon than other fuels we already use, making it more environmentally friendly.

What actually is E10 fuel?

E10 is a type of petrol that’s made up of 10% ethanol and 95% unleaded petrol. In the UK, the previous petrol grade is E5, which is 5% ethanol. However, many countries across Europe have already switched to E10 as a more eco-friendly fuel, making us a relatively late adopter.

e10 petrol in car

Ethanol is an alcohol made from plants like wheat and sugar beet. It’s actually possible for cars to run on 100% ethanol – Brazil has been doing this for years! – though the UK currently mixes it with fuel derived from oil, which isn’t quite as sustainable.

Why is this change happening?

Switching to E10 fuel is an excellent way for the UK to start reducing carbon emissions quickly. Although it’s not a long-term solution, E10 will help cut down on the number of fossil fuels needed to fuel our cars, making them somewhat more sustainable. However, with the ban of all new diesel and petrol cars from 2030 onwards, it might not be around for too many years. But in the meantime, switching to E10 will have the same effect as taking 350,000 cars of the road, which is nothing to complain about.

How do I find out if my car is suitable for E10?

Now comes the catch – not every car or van will be able to run on the new E10 fuel. Usually, owners of older cars won’t be able to fill up with E10, whilst newer ones will. Incompatible vehicles will still technically be able to run on it, but it could cause damage over time and leave the engine with long-term problems. The government has set up a site that lists which cars can and can’t run on E10 to make things easier.

If you support the arrival of E10, but your current commercial vehicle won’t be compatible with it, or you’re looking to expand your fleet in a more environmentally friendly way, we can help! We have a wide choice of new vans from prestigious manufacturers in new models, making it easy to find a vehicle that you can fill with E10. Feel free to have a look around our website or give us a call on 01282 872 530 for more advice. We’re always happy to help!