UK's introduction of E10 fuel blend, which is expected to happen this year, will cost drivers more money and raise C02 emissions; E10 less efficient than E5 blend currently used in UK, says car buyer's guide

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, England , February 8, 2014 () – A NEW drive to reduce global warming that is being blamed for increased rain and flooding could cost motorists billions.

Drivers will be expected to foot the bill for the less efficient new fuel that is being introduced this year to help the Government meet targets designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

This is in response to an EU directive that requires 10% of road transport energy to be from renewable sources by 2020.

According to tests carried out by a leading consumer motoring magazine, the EU regulations could cost UK drivers billions of pounds a year and increase harmful CO2 tailpipe emissions.

The move to introduce E10 fuel, which is expected to happen this year, has been branded as "irresponsible" by What Car? after it undertook the first real-world tests on the new blend of petrol.

Until now, the fuel had only been tested in laboratory conditions, according to What Car? The E10 fuel contains 10% bio- ethanol and is being rolled out across the UK.

However, the testers discovered that E10 is less efficient than the current E5 blend of fuel, which contains 5% bio-ethanol, across every engine type tested. This means that cars have to use more of the new fuel, costing drivers much more each year.

Now What Car? is calling for the Government to carry out comprehensive, testing in order to understand the financial impact of the new petrol.

Spokesman Chas Hallett, says: "The US Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the detrimental effect of E10 on fuel economy is between three and four percent but even our small sample of tests proves otherwise.

"To lead consumers into E10 without fully communicating the significant impact on fuel economy, particularly for drivers least able to absorb the extra costs, is irresponsible."

The magazine tested E10 against E0 pure petrol. The cars used were a three-cylinder turbo Dacia Sandero, a naturally aspirated Hyundai i30, a hybrid Toyota Prius+ and a four-cylinder turbo Mini Paceman.

The Sandero returned an 11.5% drop in economy and the Hyundai i30 was almost as bad, achieving 9.8% less miles on E10.

The testers also found that CO2 tailpipe emissions increased in every vehicle.

The testers found that more powerful cars cope better with a higher ethanol content, leaving smaller cars that are often bought by drivers on a tighter budget worst affected.

To make matters worse, not every car will be able to use E10.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders says that 1.5 million petrol vehicles will not be compatible and are potentially at risk. These are more likely to be older vehicles owned by those on tighter budgets.

The Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership says that the carbon dioxide increases will be partially offset by the renewable properties of bio-ethanol and the fact that the crops used to produce it absorb CO2 while growing.
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