The government has been under pressure for the past few years to find new alternatives to petrol in order to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emissions in the UK and attain its targets for sustainability required by the EU. Climate change has been a big concern for governments across the world for a long time now, however the fact that fossil fuels are also starting to run out also means that they are trying to find new ways to power vehicles before it becomes a problem.
Whilst electric and hybrid cars are already being manufactured by the car industry, they seem to be unpopular amongst the general public, especially as many are concerned that there are not enough re-charging stations throughout the UK so drivers could be limited to how far they could drive. This is why the government will soon be introducing a new alternative to petrol into forecourts across the country called E10, which will include ten per cent ethanol and produce lower emissions.
However, there have already been criticisms of the new fuel, as even though it produces less carbon dioxide emissions it also provides less miles per gallon, meaning that the average family would have to end up paying around eighty pounds more per year in order to run their cars. Furthermore, there have been concerns that the ethanol may be harmful for older cars and motorbikes as it could melt components in the engines. A study from the think-tank Chatham House said that: “The increased use of ethanol in petrol to meet EU sustainability targets is resulting in drivers paying extra at the pumps.”
A senior research fellow from Chatham House, author Rob Bailey, also said: “Based on case studies in other countries that have introduced E10, field trials and laboratory tests, the research found issues of material incompatibility, corrosion and drivability problems for vehicles of ten years or older. German motorists are also thought to be suspicious of the wider environmental and social impacts of ethanol.”
It is also unclear how car insurance quotes will alter after the introduction of the new fuel, especially if it could cause damage to cars. Furthermore, there may be an increase in drivers filling their cars with the wrong fuel when E10 is first introduced, meaning that breakdown cover suppliers may also have to increase their costs in order to deal with demand.