By September 2019, new uniform EU-wide fuel labels will be rolled out across all filling stations, and will appear on forecourt pumps and on the filler caps of all new vehicles.
This is purely to help inform drivers of the biofuel content of both petrol and diesel fuel and to prevent drivers from filling up with the wrong fuel while abroad.
Petrol, which contains up to 5% renewable ethanol, will be labelled ‘E5’, while diesel, which contains up to 7% biodiesel, will be labelled ‘B7’.
Blending of biofuels into petrol and diesel reduces carbon emissions (CO2) and helps the UK meet its climate change commitments. A Department for Transport (DfT) spokesman said: “These new labels will help drivers chose the right fuel for their vehicle, whilst also highlighting the use of biofuels in reducing the CO2 emissions from everyday road vehicles. “Our Road to Zero strategy set out our ambition to end the sale of diesel and petrol cars by 2040, while the ongoing decarbonising of traditional fuels will help during this transition.”
In 2018, the CO2 savings from using biofuels in road transport reduced dramatically, and was equivalent to taking over 500,000 cars off the UK’s roads.
The DfT issued a call for evidence in July 2018 on whether E10 petrol should be introduced to UK filling stations. E10 petrol leads to a 2% reduction in CO2 emissions compared to the E5 petrol that is the norm on British forecourts, however, motoring groups have previously warned over 800,000 cars are incompatible with the higher-ethanol fuel.
While the DfT won’t publish the results of the E10 consultation until “late 2019”, plans to clearly label ‘standard’ unleaded as ‘E5’ indicate the consultation is likely to see E10 introduced before the end of 2019.