Saturday, 10 Jun 2023

Greener petrol to become standard next year – taking ‘350,000 cars off the road’

Greener petrol will soon be available in forecourts across the UK in a bid to slash emissions.

The Department for Transport is set to announce plans to make a new fuel, blended with 10% bioethanol, the standard offering at pumps.

The move, to be unveiled today, will cut carbon dioxide emissions by 750,000 tonnes a year, experts say.

This is the equivalent of taking 350,000 cars off the road, as standard fuel currently available contains 5%.

Bioethanol is a form of renewable energy which is produced using crops.

However there is concern that around a million cars registered before 2000 could be unable to use the new petrol without being damaged.

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Transport secretary Grant Shapps said: "The next 15 years will be absolutely crucial for slashing emissions from our roads, as we all start to feel the benefits of the transition to a zero-emission future.

"But before electric cars become the norm, we want to take advantage of reduced CO2 emissions today.

"This small switch to petrol containing bioethanol at 10% will help drivers across country reduce the environmental impact of every journey.

"Overall this could equate to about 350,000 cars being taken off our roads entirely."

Mr Shapps said the proposed new fuel was the latest in a series of steps to help the UK move towards "a net zero future".

The government has repeatedly brought forward its target to ban new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars after it was slammed for not coming quickly enough.

Boris Johnson moved the date forward from 2040 last month when he was criticised for acting too slowly.

But even then, green groups criticised him – since government advisers the Committee on Climate Change had already called for the ban by as early as 2030.

Since then Mr Shapps has claimed the ban could come in earlier, for example in 2032, despite motoring groups' protests that the changing dates are "moving the goalposts".

"The Prime Minister last week has said we would like to do that by 2035 at the latest," he told BBC Radio 5 Live. "We have said 2035 or even 2032."

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