E10 petrol - your questions answered

* E10 biofuel is coming to the UK * 92% of cars made since 2002 are compatible * Get in touch at advice@whatcar.com...

Author Avatar
Emma Butcher
28 Jan 2014 12:22 | Last updated: 14 Jun 2018 00:03

A new blend of petrol is on its way to UK petrol station forecourts. Known as E10, it contains up to 10% ethanol - a biofuel tipped to slash greenhouse gas emissions from petrol cars by up to 60% 

It all sounds like a great idea, but there are some things to consider before you fill up your car. Indeed, some car owners are understandably worried about the impact of E10 'green' fuel being introduced to UK petrol forecourts.

E10 FAQs: 

What’s E10?
E10 is a grade of fuel, broadly compatible with regular unleaded petrol.

How is E10 different to regular unleaded petrol?
E10 is a blend of up to 10% bioethanol and 90% petrol. The current UK standard is E5 with up to 5% bioethanol. 

Why mix bioethanol with petrol at all?
Bioethanol is a renewable fuel, which supporters claim is carbon-neutral. It is made from crops such as sugar cane, corn, and rapeseed. Mixing it with petrol is claimed to result in lower emissions.

Why is E10 being introduced?
Around 39% of UK road transport CO2 emissions are thought to come from petrol cars, and ethanol has been tipped as a quick win for reducing it. Biofuels are said to result in a carbon saving of 58%.

When is E10 coming?
In 2013 the petrol standard was revised to allow the sale of petrol with up to 10% ethanol, but market uncertainty means it’s unlikely we’ll see E10 in the UK before the end of 2014.

Can E10 damage my car?
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) says 92.2% of UK cars are E10 compatible. Cars built after 2002 should be in the clear, but owners are advised to check their vehicle handbook before filling up. 

Is E10 compatible with diesel cars?
No. It is only for cars which run on unleaded petrol and which manufacturers say is safe to use with biofuels. 

Got more questions about E10 fuel? Send us an email.