Currently reading: More than 600,000 cars incompatible with proposed E10 introduction
Proposed introduction of 10% bioethanol fuel could cause problems for more than 634,000 cars
2 mins read
28 August 2018

A proposed switch to E10 fuel in the UK could affect 634,509 cars that are incompatible with the increase in percentage of bioethnaol used in petrol, reports the BBC. 

Doubling the current proportion of bioethanol in petrol to 10% could cut CO2 emissions by 2%, according to the Department for Transport, but 150,000 cars built since 2000 and more than four times this number in total nationwide would be incompatible with E10. 

A public consultation on the proposal launched in July and closes in mid-September. The fears of drivers of the affected cars, of which 28,000 are Volkswagen Golfs and almost 21,000 are MG MGBs, were acknowledged by transport minister Jesse Norman, who said: “This government is ambitiously seeking to reduce the UK’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.”

The introduction of E10 would not be mandatory, with fuel suppliers able to choose between selling E5 (5% bioethanol) or E10, although given the emissions benefits of the latter it’s likely to be incentivised. The consultation is seeking views on protecting drivers against increased costs of E5 by introducing an E5 protection grade. Larger filling stations are expected to continue offering E5 when E10 is introduced.

Ethanol has the potential to strip buildup from the insides of components, which could lead to blockages elsewhere in the engine of the affected cars. Rubber components of the incompatible cars are also at risk of corrosion through the ethanol content of E10.

A 2032 target to increase the amount of renewable fuel used in the UK is believed to be behind the proposal, although the infrastructure required for its introduction and number of affected vehicles are viewed as significant barriers.

E10 is already used commonly across the European Union, as well as widely in the US and Australia. 

The most affected cars in the UK are: 

Volkswagen Golf - 28,066 cars

MG MGB - 20,890

Mazda MX-5 - 18,162

Nissan Micra - 15,785

Morris Minor - 12,796

Rover 25 - 9,879

MG MGF - 9,352

Ford Escort - 8,947

Rover Mini - 7,614

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dougflump 1 September 2018

boozy jalopies

Fuel consumption goes up defeats emissions ! using the premium fuels ( which have the lowest amount of ethanol ) I get much better MPG in both cars and motorcycles, yet another dumb move.

fellwalker 28 August 2018

Scare Mongering as usual

You do love to rebel rouse.

All new cars sold in the UK since 2011 are compatible by law.

As a general rule, if your car was built after 2002, it will be fine.

What is the point of the links within the article to the CURRENT review of the LATEST models, when you are saying that a certain number of a particular model are incompatible?  The reviews that you link to have nothing whatsoever to do with this, and do not refer to E10 compatibility - BECAUSE NEW CARS ARE COMPATIBLE.

I had thought better of Autocar.  I had hoped that you would link to a page where it explained WHICH models might be affected. Perhaps at least the RAC Foundation's web site  which leads to a pdf with more information.

I had hoped you might link to the government consultation

Chris C 28 August 2018

Not just cars...

Good to see a Conservative government continuing with biofuels but it might not just be vehicles that are incompatible. Sometime ago the supermarket Morrisons sold a high bioethanol fuel (E85?) as a trial in some of its fuel stations (at the time Saab, etc, were selling compatible vehicles). I tried it for my Japanese import but found the nozzle of the petrol pump at my local branch was leaking badly - presumably the fuel was attacking the seals?