The introduction of E10 Fuel

There is a huge amount of confusion around the switch to E10 and staff in service stations nationwide are dealing with daily questions on the issue writes Geraldine Herbert

What is E10 and is it compatible with my car?
E10 is a biofuel made from 90% regular unleaded and 10pc ethanol. It will replace E5 as the new standard grade of petrol next month in order to reduce carbon emissions from cars. Ethanol is manufactured from plants, including sugar beet and wheat, and was introduced across Europe in 2009. All cars manufactured since 2011 are compatible with E10, however, there is no reason to believe that older cars will have any issues based on the experience of the US, Brazil and all the main EU countries using E10 without problems it is expected that the petrol vehicle and engine stock in Ireland will not experience issues attributable to E10. In the case of classic cars, there are websites where motorists can check the “compatibility” of their cars with E10. Generally, if your car is not compatible you should contact your vehicle manufacturer or local dealership or garage.

Why is E10 biofuel being introduced?
The Government’s Climate Action Plan 2021 contains a target to raise the blend proportion of biofuels in road transport to at least B20 (biodiesel) in diesel and E10 (ethanol) in petrol as part of the measures to achieve a 51% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030.

Is there any difference in fuel economy?
Drivers may notice a slight increase (1-2pc) in fuel consumption with the use of E10 petrol, this is due to the lower energy content of bioethanol compared to the fossil fuel equivalent petrol. Other factors such as driving style, driving with under-inflated tyres or having a roof rack on your car all have a much more significant impact on fuel economy than using E10 petrol.

Will E5 be available when E10 is introduced?
It was believed Ireland would follow the UK and other European countries and maintain some availability of E5 following the introduction of E10. But this will not be the case, and from June 1 it will not be possible to get E5 in a service station. Specialist fuel retail outlets may stock it after that date but that is unconfirmed.


Geraldine Herbert

25th April, 2023

Author: Geraldine Herbert

Motoring Editor and Columnist for the Sunday Independent and editor of wheelsforwomen. Geraldine is also a regular contributor to Good Housekeeping (UK), EuroNews and to RTÉ, Newstalk, TodayFM, BBC Radio and Vigin Media. You can follow Geraldine on Twitter at @GerHerbert1

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