E10 Mandates for UK Petrol
On 25th February 2021, UKPIA welcomed the UK Government announcement that mandates higher ethanol content petrol - E10. UKPIA will continue to seek close government-industry partnership on the rollout of the policy to enable a seamless transition for all consumers.
This transition to E10 is fully supported by the downstream oil sector as a practical measure to further reduce transport carbon emissions - the equivalent of taking up to 350,000 cars off our roads - with minimal impact on drivers, filling station operators or the wider community. This page offers information on changes you will see at the pump and why the change has been made.
What is E10?
E10 is petrol containing up to 10% ethanol – with the remainder made up of hydrocarbons. Currently, standard (or ‘premium’) petrol contains up to 5% ethanol. Ethanol from renewable feedstocks is added to petrol to reduce the fuel’s carbon emissions.
E10 is the label which will be used for higher ethanol blend petrol in the UK. Whilst the “E” of the label is originally derived from ethanol - when ethanol blended on top of hydrocarbon petrol was given “E + % v/v added” labels – its use has since evolved to indicate wider oxygenate content of petrol as more petrol-viable components became available and it is possible that E10 petrol will contain oxygenates in addition to ethanol (such as methanol) in line with the relevant fuel standards.
At the petrol station, a circular ‘E10’ or ‘E5’ label will be clearly visible on both the petrol dispenser and nozzle, making it easy for you to identify the correct fuel.
The ‘E10’ and ‘E5’ labels look like this:
Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation
In the UK, increased use of renewable fuels such as bioethanol is mandated by the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation. In 2019, the vast majority of renewable fuel blended into petrol was bioethanol (>90%).
The introduction of E10 is a practical step that increases renewable fuel use in the UK now.
This policy announcement is an important step in the UK’s broader energy transition journey. Updated renewable transport fuels policies are essential in reducing the emissions of the light road vehicle sector and, in time, such policies should help reduce emissions in more difficult to decarbonise transport sectors – such as aviation and HGVs – whereas part of a range of technologies, low carbon liquid fuels and hydrogen will have an important role to play.
For more information:
The introduction of E10 may raise further questions for consumers with the following links offering helpful resources for those looking to know more:
Confirm if your vehicle can run on E10: Link
UK Government Explainer: E10 Petrol Explained
Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs: Fuels
UKPIA Consultation Response: Here