Sales of ethanol in France keep rising steadily after a record-setting 2019, according to new figures from the French bioethanol association SNPAA. The data show strong growth for two different ethanol blends: E10, with up to 10% ethanol; and E85, with up to 85%.
SNPAA reported ethanol consumption of 1.13-1.15 billion litres last year and predicted further growth this year as demand for petrol rises.
E10 accounted for almost 50% of the French petrol market in December 2019, SNPAA said, continuing a growth trend that has been steady for the last decade. Since 2017, E10 – which is compatible with nearly all petrol vehicles – has been the top selling petrol grade in France.
SNPAA also reported rapid growth in sales of E85, which can be used in flex-fuel vehicles or in regular petrol cars fitted with a simple conversion box. Sales of E85 grew by 85% in 2019 and the fuel grade, also known as Superethanol, is now available at nearly 20% of petrol stations across the country. More than two new E85 pumps are open every day in France.
The growth in both blends has been due to a decline in diesel demand – petrol cars also make up more than 55% of new passenger vehicle registrations in France – and due to favourable tax policies from the French government.
As of the start of 2020, four more EU Member States – Denmark, Hungary, Lithuania and Slovakia – joined the ranks of countries that have decided to increase their use of renewable ethanol in transport to meet national climate and renewables targets. A total of 13 EU countries now have E10 as the standard petrol blend.