The new E10 petrol shocks drivers with its poor efficiency

The new E10 petrol shocks drivers with its poor efficiency

27 September 2021 | Kate Kozlowska | 5 min read

Within weeks of the launch of E10 petrol on forecourts across the country, it has been called into question again. Many drivers are not impressed as they have found that their fuel economy has gotten worse.

The new fuel, which is made from up to 10% renewable ethanol, is the latest effort by the government to cut vehicle emissions. Upon its release, the government pointed out that E10 fuel can reduce motorists' mileage per gallon slightly. They said that drivers may experience a reduction of 1%, but that it won't really be noticeable in everyday driving. If that is true, why are motorists making such a big deal out of it?

Drivers complain about the decline in fuel efficiency after switching to E10 fuel

Angry drivers have taken to social media to criticise the new petrol after they were hit with extra fees they "can't afford".

"Has anyone noticed getting fewer miles per gallon since the new #E10 fuel began being sold?"? Yes, I have checked that my car is compatible! Many of my friends are complaining of the same reduction in MPG!!”, twitted Gary, using Twitter handle @G66WD.

Abby Stevenson wrote on Twitter: "Hate this new E10 fuel. I'm spending almost double on petrol each week now. I can't afford this. But I also can't afford to give up my car". 

Trav Churchill added: ”E10 fuel is crap. Just cost three-quarters of tank from Birmingham to Blackpool and back. Before E10 would cost me half a tank round trip. Again we're being ripped off.”

Another Twitter user, Cherrie & Beans The Pug,  said they had also been forced to spend more on the new fuel. She said: “Would fill my Fiat 500 for £35 and would last usually just over two months. Have put the new E10 fuel and already half a tank gone in two weeks and haven't done any different driving so going to put VPower next time.”

Rich, using the Twitter name @RunsOnRails, said his MPG rate fell from 51 to 47 when he started using the new petrol. “Car's average MPG on old petrol around 51.5-52. Car's average MPG on new E10 petrol 47.2. Around seven percent increase in fuel cost.”

LukeTrainPlanes also noted a change in his MPG rate since switching to E10: “It's all about £. I’ve noticed a decrease in mpg by around 1-3mpg which is crap over a course of a year."

Social media are flooded with complaints from upset drivers.  

E10 is inefficient but still cheaper than alternatives

As E10 has a lower energy content than E5, it can reduce the fuel economy of your car slightly. However, some tests performed by drivers have shown that it may be as much as 9% less efficient. This is much more than the 1% the government suggested when E10 was released.

With the changes to the fuel, E5 petrol is now known as super-unleaded, and it costs 10 to 12 pence more per litre than E10. Though E5 will improve fuel economy marginally, the extra cost of buying it will not better the drivers' position.  A driver's only other option is to switch to an electric vehicle, which is currently the cheapest alternative when it comes to running costs.

What is the purpose of the new E10 petrol?

See what the government is hoping to accomplish with the new fuel in this short video from the Department of Transport.

Is E10 fuel worth the extra cost?

I usually fill my tank at the beginning of each month, but I had another top-up at the end of September, so I personally noticed a difference in fuel efficiency in my first month using E10. However, from my own point of view, it's a small price to pay for cleaner air and I'm happy to accept it. 

How did you find E10 petrol?  Are you spending more money after switching? Would you consider this expense justified? CVC wants to hear your thoughts so click the button below and let us know!

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