New "Green Fuel" could end up costing the UK's motorists
A study by What Car? has branded the move to introduce the new, greener 'E10' petrol into forecourts across the UK as "irresponsible", potentially costing the country's drivers billions of pounds per year.
The E10 fuel, which contains up to 10% bio-ethanol, was tested on a range of vehicles in a real-world environment, and the results showed on average a 10% drop in fuel economy compared to E0 'pure' petrol, meaning any environmental benefits were virtually negated and the reduction in fuel economy would in effect mean a 10% hike in fuel costs for the average motorist.
Overall, the What Car? tests showed the cars with larger engines coped better with the new fuel, whereas those with smaller vehicles, often bought by people on a tighter budget, struggled.
For full details visit the What Car? website by clicking here
What Car's findings are very interesting and potentially very worrying as we look towards introducing greener fuels into our forecourts. Have the government missed a critical flaw with the roll-out of this new fuel? Will the new car fuel economy test feature this E10 fuel, and if so how will that affect industry wide MPG figures which have been steadily improving since the turn of the century? Lots of questions which need to be debated, and we'll be watching developments here very keenly.
'Go Ultra Low' launched to help educate consumers about ultra-low emissions vehicles
Backed by some of the automotive industry's biggest players including BMW, Toyota, Vauxhall, Nissan and Renault, a new scheme called 'Go Ultra Low' has been launched, together with the website www.goultralow.com
, to help showcase the benefits of pure electric, plug-in hybrid and extended-range vehicles with information about their low emissions, superb fuel economy, ease of charging and impressive range.
With the average UK journey being less than 50 miles, the ‘Go Ultra Low’ campaign seeks to dispel some common myths about ultra-low emission vehicles and hence ask ‘What are you waiting for?’ to the UK's drivers.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg MP, who helped launch the scheme and has added a further £9 million of funding into the electric vehicle charging infrastructure commented, "Electric cars are one of the most promising of our green industries and we want to secure the UK’s position as a global leader in both the production and adoption of these vehicles."
The only way that a low-emission economy can be fully realised is by both the public and private sector working together to deliver solutions for the consumer. It's great to see this initiative following this mantra, although with only five key manufacturers involved it does feel a little light on industry support...
FTA calls on Chancellor to cut fuel duty in March budget
The Freight Transport Association (FTA), has called on the Chancellor to go further than just freezing fuel duty and instead cut it by 3 pence per litre in the upcoming budget, now just a few weeks away (19th March).
The Association stated that "by reducing road fuel duty it would ease cost pressure on domestic freight activity and stimulate economic growth" - as trade increased and more jobs were created, the Chancellor would benefit from additional tax receipts, which would cover the cost of reducing the duty.
James Hookham, Managing Director of the FTA, also commented that he would like to see a return to a lower duty rate for those businesses converting used cooking oil into a reusable bio-fuel for commercial vehicles, to continue to incentivise those who invest in these refining methods and continue to provide a more economically and environmentally sustainable alternative to traditional fuels.
It's good to see groups lobbying the government to ensure tax on fuel is fair for those who use the nations roads, but we mustn't lose sight of the fact that the price of fuel alone shouldn't be used as a method of controlling the cost of motoring. Technological advances as well as some simple and effective methods of driving and maintaining your vehicle
can make a big difference to your overall fuel bills.
UK's first all-electric car club launches in Hertfordshire
The UK's first all-electric pay-per-use car club, called the E-Car Club, has launched in the University of Hertfordshire.
From just £5.50 per hour, anyone (above 19 years of age) can join and take advantage of renting one of three electric Renault vehicles, and with a range of around 100 miles, the vehicles are perfect for low-cost regional motoring.
Dr. Stephen Boffey, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Regional Affairs at the University of Hertfordshire, commented:
The University is always looking at ways to improve the travel choices for staff, students and the local community and we are proud to be the first university to launch an electric car club. We hope that by offering access to a low carbon form of transport, we can work together to reduce the cost and environmental impact of each journey undertaken.
Car clubs tend to be the preserve of large urban centres like cities, so it will be interesting to see how well this one fares in an area with a less highly concentrated population like Hertfordshire. A great idea in practice for those who use cars infrequently, but will challenges with accessibility curtail any potential for this type of motoring alternative to provide the genuine low-cost motoring solution consumers are looking for.
Archived Fuel Industry News Stories 2009 - 2013
Click here to view our archived fuel industry news stories from 2009 - 2013
and enjoy news, views and comment on fuel industry, fuel economy and MPG stories between 2009 and 2013.