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95% of UK cars warrantied for E10 use, study claims

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A major new report has presented evidence claimed to highlight unnecessary Government caution over a roll-out of E10 petrol in the UK.

The Unwarranted Caution report has been published by the All Party Parliamentary Group for British Bioethanol, a cross party group of MPs and Peers with an interest in promoting the benefits of the bioethanol industry and its products. One of the report's key aims is to determine the implications of the introduction of E10.

Among its key findings are that more than 95% of petrol cars on UK roads were manufactured post-2010 and therefore likely warranted for E10 use. Significantly, the study also discovered that around 2.7 million petrol vehicles (13% of the total) are optimised for E10 use. This, according to APPG, means they are getting poorer performance by using E5.

The reports’ results are based on information released following a Freedom of Information request to the UK’s Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

“The Government has been unnecessarily hesitant to take the action needed to introduce E10, despite being faced with its own legally binding 2020 targets with regards to tackling climate change, and their current legal challenge to air quality and pollution in inner cities,” said Nic Dakin MP, chair of APPG.

“There is a clear need for Government to take immediate action and for its policies to reflect the realities of the vehicle fleet on the road in the short to medium term.”

The study found that a very small minority of petrol cars, around 873,000, or 4.6%, currently on UK roads were manufactured between 1970 and 1999 and therefore likely to be unwarrantied – although not necessarily incompatible – for E10 use.

“I am delighted to say that this report illustrates that the number of vehicles unwarrantied for E10 is in a very small and ever decreasing minority, and is notably smaller than has been the case in other countries which have already demonstrated successful roll-outs,” Dakin continued.

“Our evidence shows that those who own a pre-2000 vehicle are also likely to be households who currently use premium petrol, and are more likely to have greater disposable incomes.

“A significant sector of society, including many of the poorest households, are currently losing out most by being prevented from using the most efficient fuel for their vehicle and should be taken into account to a greater degree than has been the case previously.”