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The Government has launched a consultation to introduce E10 petrol, a lower carbon fuel which is made with up to 10% ethanol.

It wants E10 to become the standard grade of petrol at UK filling stations and said that by increasing the ethanol content of petrol, E10 has the potential to cut CO2 from transport by 750,000 tonnes per year, the equivalent to taking around 350,000 cars off the road.

Current petrol grades in the UK already contain up to 5% bioethanol, known as E5. E10 would see this percentage increased up to 10%, a blend which is already well used in other countries such as Belgium, Finland, France and Germany, the Department for Transport said.

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Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, said: “The next 15 years will be absolutely crucial for slashing emissions from our roads, as we all start to feel the benefits of the transition to a zero-emission future. But before electric cars become the norm, we want to take advantage of reduced CO2 emissions today. This small switch to petrol containing bioethanol at 10% will help drivers across country reduce the environmental impact of every journey. Overall this could equate to about 350,000 cars being taken off our roads entirely.”

The consultation runs until 19 April and responses can be emailed to LowCarbonFuel.Consultation@dft.gov.uk or posted to:

Low Carbon Fuels,
Department for Transport,
Great Minster House,
33 Horseferry Road,
London,
SW1P 4DR.