New green fuel isn’t efficient, says What Car?
Tuesday, 25 February 2014
A green petrol, which will meet EU environmental regulations, is not as efficient as our current blends of renewable fuels, and could even cause an increase in CO2 exhaust emissions, according to tests carried out by What Car? magazine.
The E10 fuel contains 10 per cent bio-ethanol and is being rolled-out across the UK as part of the Government’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions; aligned with the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive which requires 10 per cent of road transport energy to be sourced from renewable sources by 2020.
A recent test by What Car? magazine has shown that E10 is actually less efficient than the current E5 blend, which uses only 5 per cent of bio ethanol; requiring more fuel to power the vehicle and costing drivers more per annum.
Chas Hallett of What Car? says the Government should carry out comprehensive testing of the fuel prior to it being released, in order to fully understand its long term costs to motorists:
“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,” he said.
“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.”
What Car? Tested E10 against pure petrol, comparing the results against a range of American biofuel blends using four different vehicles, with efficiency levels falling by 11.5 per cent and 9.8 per cent in the Dacia Sandero and Hyundai respectively.
It is likely that larger cars will be able to cope better with the fuel, leaving drivers on smaller vehicles - often with smaller budgets - worse off.
Exhaust emissions also increased in every vehicle, although it can be argued that this will be offset by the renewable properties of bio-ethanol, with the crops used to produce the fuel absorbing CO2 whilst growing.
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