'It’s a sham’: Drivers concerned E10 fuel economy could worsen in colder weather


E10 petrol has been on forecourts for almost three months, although many drivers are becoming frustrated with the unleaded fuel. There have been numerous instances of drivers having issues with the petrol, from poorer fuel economy to problems with their engines.

“Electric tech will change in the next few years, despite what people say.

“Economy still relies on us buying petrol. Imagine if we all stop buying fuel from tomorrow.”

A third motorist, Miss Danielle, tweeted: “Anyone else spending an absolute fortune on petrol, since they changed it to E10?

“My car seems to be drinking it. Doesn’t seem greener to me…”

Dr Dan Clarke, global head of science and technology at SulNOx Group, said drivers could see problems from E10 this winter.

He said: “In cold weather, condensation occurs when water vapour comes in contact with a hot surface. This can happen in your fuel tank, as any space not filled up with fuel will be taken up by air containing water vapour.

“The main problem is that the additional bio-ethanol content in E10 prefers to mix with water as opposed to petrol and where there is sufficient of both, it leaves the petrol and combines with the water to form a separate layer at the bottom of the fuel tank.  

“Equally, while petrol or diesel are very unlikely to freeze in the temperatures we typically experience in the UK, water condensation left in the empty fuel lines can easily freeze and prevent fuel from reaching your engine.”

Some drivers, including Matthew Wilkinson, said they were considering going back to E5 petrol.

They said: “This E10 petrol might be better for the environment, but it’s terrible for the pocket.

“I went to Silverstone in July, a 230 odd mile journey, plus a 60-mile round trip every day, I used four bars of petrol.

“I went to Lancaster a couple of weeks ago, around an 80-mile journey, 160-mile round trip, I used four bars of fuel! 

“Fuel consumption is awful.

“I’d rather pay a bit extra and get the Esso supreme which is still E5.”

When it was introduced, the Government said E10 petrol can marginally impact fuel economy, although this would generally only be around one percent.

It did say this slight dip in fuel economy would be almost unnoticeable when making normal journeys.

With driving habits slowly changing because of the shorter days and colder temperatures, drivers may experience more normal levels of fuel economy.



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