The government has launched yet another consultation on introducing E10 petrol, but this time it has spelt out specific proposals for it to replace standard E5 from next year. The government has been prevaricating over introducing E10, a blend of fuel with up to 10% ethanol content, for nearly a decade.

Opposition has focused on the extra infrastructure that would be required if forecourts needed to stock an extra grade of petrol, and the fact that some older cars are not compatible with E10.

The government has been sitting on the results of the last consultation, but has now used the findings as the basis for the new consultation. It believes that introducing E10 as an additional option for petrol customers would not work because few drivers would buy it, and therefore it is proposing that E10 replaces 95 E5. E5 would still be available but in the higher octane super grade (98 E5). It states: "We would require all filling stations (with exceptions for some remote areas and specialist/low volume retailers) to ensure their standard petrol is E10."

PRA chairman Brian Madderson commented: "The PRA welcomes the government’s consultation on the introduction of E10 in the UK." He said the introduction would be a good step in reducing CO2 emissions from petrol vehicles. The fuel would also be easy to introduce, as E5 tanks can have E10 petrol put into them without any changes aside from relabelling.