UK opens public consultation on potential introduction of E10

By Erin Voegele | July 26, 2018

On July 20, the U.K. Department of Transportation opened a public consultation on whether and how it should introduce E10 fuel. The country currently allows gasoline blends that contain up to 5 percent ethanol.

In a statement, the department said the introduction of E10 would help reduce carbon emissions from gasoline-fueled vehicles, helping the U.K. meet its climate change targets.

“This government is ambitiously seeking to reduce the U.K.’s reliance on imported fossil fuels and cut carbon emissions from transport. But drivers of older vehicles should not be hit hard in the pocket as a result,” said Transport Minister Jesse Norman. “We have launched this consultation in order to understand the impact of E10 on the U.K. market better, and to ensure that drivers are protected if any changes come into effect.”

The consultation seeks public input on whether and how to introduce E10 fuel in the U.K.; proposals to ensure a continued supply of traditional E5 fuel for those motorists who will need it; and the introduction of new fuel labeling on gasoline pumps and new cars.

The U.K. Renewable Energy Association has spoken out to criticize the government proposals contained within the consultation documents, stating they will fail to deliver greener gasoline.

“Government’s intention is clear—it wants E10 on the market, but the proposal will prevent or at best delay E10’s introduction,” said Grant Pearson, chair of the REA’s transport fuel group. “It goes against the polluter pays principle and will ensure that cleaner fuel, which is the best for the majority of cars, will only be found in a minority of petrol stations. We need an effective way of making the transition to greener petrol, whilst protecting U.K. motorists. We believe this can be achieved by making E10 widely available alongside a legacy fuel such as ‘super/98’.

“The U.K. has two of the largest manufacturers of bioethanol in Europe,” Pearson continued. “These facilities support 6,000 jobs and provide U.K. agriculture with a market for feed wheat and a source of protein-rich animal feed co-product. If the market for E10 is held back, not only will these jobs and U.K. farmers be put at risk, but the U.K. motorist will be forced into paying more for reducing carbon from cars.”

The consultation closes Sept. 16. Additional information is available on the Department for Transport website.