E10 petrol

What is it?

An automotive petrol mix that includes 10% ethanol and offers the benefits of reduced fossil fuel consumption, lower greenhouse gas emissions, an improved octane rating, cleaner engine operation and better mileage. It also usually carries the bonus of a slightly cheaper pricetag over standard petrol, in the realm of 2 – 4c per litre.

What do we think?

We have a small car (a Mazda 3 to be precise) that runs on petrol and boasts a little sticker inside the fuel lid with the inscription, E10 ethanol fuel suitable. We like using E10 fuel. It offers the best of everything – cleaner engine, lower emissions, better mileage, cheaper pricetag – what’s not to like?

So why then has our local Shell petrol station, from which we also claim the much-vaunted but frankly overrated 4c per litre Coles supermarket discount, gotten rid of all its E10 pumps? Querying the cash register operator after this recent discovery, he suggested it was because customers didn’t like the E10, that Shell had in fact received complaints about the poorer fuel consumption it offered. It was odd receiving a blatantly incorrect response from someone nominally representing the fuel giant. Is it Shell’s standard practice to misinform its staff?

We fully appreciate that E10 fuel is hardly the solution to global warming or the rapid consumption of the planet’s natural resources. It does make a small difference however, and one we want to see back at the fuel pump.

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