When is E10 fuel being introduced in the UK?

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The new fuel is here: but is your car compatible? On September 1, 2021, E10 fuel will become the default fuel in petrol stations across England, Scotland and Wales. Plans to roll out E10 across Northern Ireland are scheduled for 2022.

The switch from E5 to E10 was announced by the Department for Transport back in February of this year.

However, now drivers have to be sure whether their vehicle is compatible with E10.

It is estimated that 600,000 cars currently on UK roads are not compatible with the new biofuel, including classic cars and some models from the early 2000s.

Have you checked your motor yet? If not, Express.co.uk brings you a full guide to the changes.

What is E10?

E10 is a biofuel made from 90 percent regular unleaded and 10 percent ethanol.

The current default fuel in the UK is E5, which has a five percent ethanol content.

The decision to switch to E10 is in order to reach the Government’s target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Ethanol is created by fermenting plants to create an alcohol-based fuel. Some say fuels made from plants go some way in making the fuels more carbon-neutral, as the plants remove carbon dioxide from the air.

Many countries have already adopted E10, including across Europe, the US and Australia.

It has been the reference fuel against which new cars are tested for emissions and performance since 2016.

It is estimated that the UK switching to E10 could reduce carbon emissions by 750,000 tonnes a year – the equivalent of taking 350,000 cars off the road.

How do I check my car is compatible with E10?

Most cars are compatible with E10 fuel, and it has been a requirement since 2011 that every new car sold in the UK is E10 compatible.

If you’re unsure about whether your motor can use this new fuel, you can use the Government’s online car checker to check before next Wednesday when the change comes in.

If your model isn’t listed, or you’re still unsure, check with your car’s manufacturer.

Classic cars, mopeds and some older models aren’t compatible. These vehicles can instead use the super grade premium fuel, which is an E5.

Does E10 affect fuel economy?

According to guidance from the Government, E10 can reduce your fuel economy (the number of miles per gallon of fuel) by around one percent.

What happens if I put E10 in a non-compatible vehicle?

Unlike putting petrol in a diesel engine, putting E10 in an unsuitable vehicle is not a major problem and you should not need to drain the tank.

If it’s a one-off it won’t cause any damage, but over a long period of time it is not recommended.

It may cause some pre-detonation (also known as ‘pinking’ – due to its distinctive noise) as well as rough running and making cold starting harder.

If you accidentally put E10 fuel in an incompatible vehicle, wait until the tank is down to one third or half full and simply top it up with the correct fuel.

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