News

Where can I buy bioethanol?

  • Your questions
  • Our answers
  • Write in to ask more
Words ByWhat Car? Staff

Need a valuation?

Obtain a FREE used car valuation for any vehicle.

GB

An article image
An article image

**I have just ordered a new Volvo S80, which will run on normal unleaded petrol, but also E85 Bioethanol.

Problem is, I can't find any in the West Midlands at all. Can you help me? I want to enjoy the driving experience without polluting the environment.
Graham Bird**

A: Bad news - there are just 19 forecourts offering E85 in the UK, and none in the West Midlands.

The closest to you is in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, but unless that happens to be on your route to work, driving there will actually do more harm than good to the environment and your pocket.

For a full list of E85 locations in the UK visit Saabbiopower.co.uk.

E85 is a mixture of 85% ethanol and 15% petrol. It's made from sugar beet and wheat, so is (in theory) sustainable in the long term. Although CO2 is produced when burning it, this is offset by the amount converted to oxygen when the plants are growing.

However, there is a worry biofuels such as E85 could actually do the environment more harm than good. A Government report earlier in the year concluded that growing crops specifically for biofuels can lead to deforestation in developing countries.

Also, the amount of energy required to turn crops into biofuels significantly reduces the overall CO2 saving.