E10 petrol: government plans to introduce greener petrol 

A more eco-friendly petrol option could be widely available from next year. 


The government has announced it’s looking into making E10 petrol the standard across UK petrol pumps from 2021. This type of petrol contains less carbon and more ethanol than the current standard unleaded petrol, E5, making it more environmentally friendly.

Introducing E10 petrol, which contains up to 10% bioethanol compared to E5’s maximum 5%, will reduce CO2 emissions from petrol vehicles by up to 2%, the Department for Transport claims, potentially helping the UK meet emissions reductions targets. 

E10 petrol is legal but not widely available in the UK, whereas it’s the standard petrol in a number of countries including France and Germany. 

The government is currently consulting on:

  • Introducing E10 petrol as the 95 octane “Premium” grade
  • Making E5 petrol available in the higher octane “Super” grade only

It’s also looking at changing the mandatory labelling of E10 petrol.

Around 700,000 older cars on UK roads wouldn’t run on E10 petrol, although the government estimates many of those would have been scrapped by the time it’s introduced in 2021. For those that remain, all ‘Super’ fuel would still be made as E5 fuel. 

This latest announcement is one of many recent measures aimed at hitting the government’s target of hitting net zero carbon emissions by 2050. As well as bringing forward the ban on sales of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars to 2035, the government has made moves towards promoting electric vehicle ownership by doubling funding for EV chargepoints and introducing the first Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ).

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