Three EU countries – Slovakia, Hungary and Lithuania – have recently decided to increase their use of renewable ethanol in transport in order to meet national climate and renewables targets.
When they officially switch to E10 petrol blend at the beginning of 2020, those countries will join a growing list of Member States that promote renewable ethanol use to reduce car emissions and improve fuel quality.
E10 is a petrol blend containing up to 10% renewable ethanol. It works in today’s infrastructure and cars and its use helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cars on the road – an important benefit as the need for EU transport emissions reduction has become more urgent.
While most EU Member States continue to use E5 petrol (containing up to 5% renewable ethanol), E10 is gaining traction. Nine countries across the EU already use E10 petrol to reduce emissions: Belgium, Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Romania.
The most recent national rollouts of E10 – including last month in the Netherlands – have gone smoothly and consumers respond positively to it.
In fact, all of the factors considered as hurdles to E10 have been overcome: E10 has been introduced in countries with car fleets older than Europe’s average; it has been introduced in countries with two or three fuel grade choices at the pumps; and it has been introduced both before and after the introduction of fuel labelling at the pump and on new cars.
In other words, there’s no reason E10 shouldn’t be standard in all EU countries, helping reduce emissions from cars with internal combustion engines, which will be prevalent on Europe’s roads for decades to come. Its rollout should also pave the way for higher blends – following the example of other countries around the world that have turned to renewable ethanol as an effective decarbonisation solution.