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Biofuel confusion strains super petrol supplies

The Local · 1 Mar 2011, 11:40

Published: 01 Mar 2011 11:40 GMT+01:00

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Jochen Wilhelm, head of the German Association of Service Stations, said in a report in daily Mitteldeutsche Zeitung on Tuesday that drivers simply do not know if their cars can handle the new E10 gas, which has a higher ethanol content.

The uncertainty is causing many to take a better-safe-than-sorry approach and fill up with the more expensive Super or SuperPlus grades, causing stocks of those fuels to run low.

Wilhelm has called on the German petroleum industry association and gas stations to provide clear information about which models can run on the Super E10 gas.

“Right now, consumers are simply left on their own,” he told the paper.

Germany’s ADAC automobile association also referred to “confusion at the pump.”

“Consumers are uncertain and therefore companies need to tell customers at the gas station exactly what the situation is,” said ADAC spokesman Andreas Hölzel.

The petroleum industry association has said up to 70 percent of drivers in Germany are filling up with the “wrong” gasoline when they bypass Super E10 and opt for traditional grades.

About 90 percent of cars on the road can handle the new biofuel, which contains up to 10 percent bioethanol content. Advocates of the gasoline-ethanol mixture, which can be produced with common crops such as sugar cane, potato and corn, say it helps curb greenhouse gas emissions.

From the beginning of this year, German gas stations have been required to offer the new Super E10 petrol or face penalties. According to the newspaper Bild, right now it is being stocked by four in ten stations.

Story continues below…

Drivers can determine is the Super E10 is suitable for their cars by asking their dealer or mechanic, or by looking at the list of compatible models published by the Deutsche Automobile Treuhand.

DAPD/DPA/The Local/kdj

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Your comments about this article

12:18 March 1, 2011 by freechoice
hey, do i get a tax rebate if i fill my car with E10?
13:15 March 1, 2011 by thomass66
Yes, you will need it to help pay the repair costs on your car that was never designed (and or tested) to run on a bio-fuel. I would love to see the "risk analysis" done by the fuel industry, hope they factored in customer claims for damaged done to the "high-end" vehicles like a MB or Porsche, older models were designed to run on high octance fuels that burn more effeciently, something a bio-fuel will not, leaving unwanted and damaging build up that will eventually cause problems for people who own these types of vehicles - if you own one, good luck and let rest of us know how long it took to damage your vehicle; won't be immediate but eventually will catch up to causing some problems.
13:36 March 1, 2011 by whiteriver
mixing ethanol to gasoline works fine to Brazilians (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethanol_fuel_in_Brazil). In summary: in Brazil there is 25% of ethanol in Gasoline.

Ethanol is so widespread that any new new car in Brazil can run in any mixture of Gasoline(E25) and 100% Ethanol.
14:27 March 1, 2011 by beeker
Watch your fuel economy drop about 4 percent. Add that to the cost of planting, fertilizing, harvesting, distilling, blending, subsidies to grain merchants, and increasing cost of food and there is a net loss compared to cost of imported oil.

Since ethanol is hygroscopic don't even think of using ethanol blended fuel in a boat or older car.
16:49 March 1, 2011 by D_J
E10 compatible/non-compatible cars list:

00:12 March 2, 2011 by Acushla
Yes beeker is right. Food prices will soar as it becomes scarce. Food will be far more expensive than oil when the crunch comes.
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