Renewed calls for the introduction of greener petrol E10 have today been made after it was calculated the fuel could save UK motorists up to £20m a year.
Although several supermarkets have cut prices at the pumps over recent days following claims that retailers were refusing to pass on a drop in wholesale costs, motorists continue to face paying almost £1.30 per litre for petrol.
And with wholesale price and dollar volatility adding to pressures on independent petrol stations, drivers of family petrol cars will likely be asked to pay up to £3.30 a month more than they did before prices of petrol and diesel began to rise in March.
E10 is regular unleaded petrol blended with 10% bioethanol – a low-carbon renewable fuel which can lower carbon emissions, including greenhouse gases and other harmful air pollutants. Although it is available in many countries throughout the world and is the leading seller in markets such as USA, France and Belgium, currently the UK only has E5 (a 5% blend).
Nic Dakin MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for British Bioethanol, a cross party group of MPs and Peers with an interest in promoting the benefits of the bioethanol industry and its products, said:
“The inflated cost of petrol is continuing to put pressure on household incomes and a squeeze on wider consumer spending, and introducing E10 would not only be good for the environment, public health and reducing our reliance on imported fossil fuels, but also leave motorists with more money in their pockets.”
A comparison between the average ethanol and gasoline* prices reveals that in May ethanol was just over 5% cheaper than petrol.
If these prices remained in place for a year, E5 was replaced with E10, and the price benefit was passed on to petrol, motorists would save between £15m and £20m a year.
It has also been estimated that doubling the level of bioethanol would be the emissions saving equivalent of removing 700,000 cars from the road.
Howard Cox, founder of FairFuelUK, the award-winning campaign fighting for lower petrol and diesel prices, said the immediate introduction of E10 at UK petrol pumps was a “no-brainer”.
Mr Cox said: “FairFuelUK’s research shows that almost 95% of car drivers think the Government is ignoring existing practical solutions to lower emissions and we believe that the introduction of E10 could also bring down the costs of motoring.
“All cars manufactured since 2016 are actually optimised for E10 and over 95% of vehicles are warrantied to run on it. While EV is a technology for the future, it will take many years for the necessary infrastructure to be put in place. E10 offers an immediate solution to improving air quality, so what’s stopping the Department for Transport from making it happen?”
The call comes as the BE10%GOOD campaign, backed by the British bioethanol industry, lobbies for the Government to introduce E10 in the UK to tackle transport emissions.
Mark Chesworth, managing director of Vivergo Fuels, the UK’s largest bioethanol manufacturer, added:
“TheBE10%GOOD campaign focuses on addressing a big issue with a simple solution.
“If we could increase the amount of money in a motorist’s pocket and improve vehicle emissions without changing anything we do in our daily lives, surely that would be a good thing.
“This campaign makes it easy for everyone to be 10% good and I’d urge anyone who agrees to visit our easy to use website to ask their MP for support.”
*The price comparison is for May and shows the average ethanol price was €441.51 / m3 versus the average Eurobob gasoline price of €466.42 /m3.
The BE10%GOOD campaign is lobbying for the Government to introduce E10 in the UK to tackle transport emissions.
The BE10%GOOD campaign is running across PR, digital and social media channels and aims to raise awareness amongst the public and key influencers of the benefits that E10 would bring.
The campaign features a series of tongue-in-cheek videos that carry a serious message that everybody, including characters we love to hate, can be at least 10% good. It argues that the Government is preventing the public from “increasing their goodness quota” by refusing to introduce the petrol.