There’s a new look at the pumps, you may have noticed the new labelling, but what do they mean. The idea of these new labels is to reflect the use of renewable fuels mixed with Petrol and Diesel. Bringing the UK in line with the EU.
You will see these starting to appear on pumps and nozzles you use when you refuel, the main thing to remember is the Petrol and Diesel fuel is exactly the same as before.
Since September filing stations have been required to display the new symbols replacing the simple “Unleaded” and “Diesel” wording and the Octane rating of the fuel with circles and squares that contain a letter and a number.
Petrol will now be represented by E5 in a circle and Diesel will be B7 in a square. Going forward this new terminology will be present on filler caps on brand new vehicles.
What do these changes mean and why?
The idea behind this is to increase the accuracy of Petrol and Diesel labelling, as the number represents the percentage of renewable fuel blended into these fossil fuels which help to bring down CO2 emissions meeting with strict climate change targets.
You might not realise that Petrol and Diesel have been mixed with a small quantity of fuel from renewable sources for over 10 years. According to the government website: last year, blending fuels in this way reduced CO2 emissions by the equivalent of taking over 1 million vehicles off the road.
Petrol is currently mixed with, up to 5% Ethanol (E5) and Diesel contains up to 7% Biodiesel (B7). Both without impacting on the quality or performance of the fuel.
This explains where the E (Ethanol) 5 (%) and B (Biodiesel) 7 (%) labelling comes from, there is, however; the addition of the circle for petrol and the square for diesel just further allow identification of the correct fuel during refuelling.
These percentages are capped currently, this is due to the higher percentages not working with all vehicles currently available. With climate change being a big topic at the moment, we are likely to see the renewable fuel content increasing and alternative percentages being available at the pumps, E10 for example, which is used on the contintent.
E10 Petrol is not yet available in the UK, but is widely used across Europe, most vehicles produced since 2000 have been approved to run on E10 petrol as well as E5, but it is worth noting that if your vehicles filler cap says E10 you would still be able to use 5.
What’s more if your Diesel vehicle says “No Biodiesel” you CAN still use the E7 option, this is just to stop people using the very high biodiesel blends, or even 100% biodiesel.
This labelling system is consistent across Europe, so they should help reduce the risk of misfuelling when you drive abroad. For more information the Government’s Know your Fuel website is a great place to check.