The spectre of E10 is on the horizon again following this month’s announcement of a government consultation on its introduction (seems like there have been a few over the years!). Issues concerning E10 have been kicked into the long grass for a long time as the fuel retailing industry fretted over its introduction due to its lack of suitability for older cars, and the investment required to accommodate it on many forecourts.
However with the passing of the years and the literal hotting up of the climate change debate it seems like not such a bad idea. After all the former problem has gradually eroded with many of those older vehicles having spluttered to their last handbrake turn. And now with the advent of electric vehicles and the potentially costly and uncertain investment to accommodate them, it’s time to welcome an opportunity for traditional carbon fuels to play their part in lowering carbon emissions. E10 after all, with its extra ’bio’ content, has the potential to reduce CO2 emissions from a petrol vehicle by around 2% (in addition to the savings from E5), and, if combined with an increase to overall biofuel supply targets, could cut overall transport C02 emissions, equivalent to taking around 350,000 cars off the road that is according to the Department of Transport’s ’Introducing E10: Consultation’ document.
Indeed this was the message put across by Jamie Baker, UKPIA’s director of external relations, in his presentation at last month’s Forecourt Trader Summit (see News Extra, page 10). He said low-carbon liquid fuels have the potential to play a big part in the government delivering on its 2050 carbon emission targets, with the potential to reduce total life-cycle GHG emissions by 80%. He criticised the government for backing just one technology electricity over another. They could also use the existing infrastructure the forecourts, pipelines and tankers to meet those decarbonisation goals. It all sounds very sensible, as long as the changes are introduced carefully. And more of this type of initiative could take the heat off the unrealistic deadline for the ban on the sale of ICE vehicles. Until hydrogen comes along...?