Germany’s drivers still wary of E10, even one year after introduction

25 April 2012 18:02  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Most German drivers still avoid 10% bioethanol-blended gasoline (E10), more than a year after the ‘green’ fuel was first offered at the nation’s petrol pumps, industry officials said on Wednesday.

Karin Retzlaff, spokeswoman for Hamburg-based refiners’ trade group MWV, said E10’s market share was just 10 to 13%.

“That’s certainly far below what we had been hoping for,” Retzlaff said.

“We thought when E10 was introduced that it would become the standard fuel for gasoline-driven passenger cars in Germany,” she added.

But many German drivers fear long-term use of E10 could damage car engines.

However, Bjorn Dosch, a spokesman for the German motorist lobbying group ADAC, said those fears were unfounded.

So far, there had not been a single reported case of engine damage in vehicles that carmakers certified as E10-compatible, Dosch said.

As such, ADAC expects market demand for E10 to grow, he added. 

German drivers and environmental groups have also criticised E10 because of its potential impact on agricultural and food supplies.

But Germany’s government imposes penalties on refiners if they fail to provide sufficient volumes of E10.

Meanwhile, in the US earlier this month, regulators approved first applications for registration of ethanol for use in making up gasoline that contains up to 15% of ethanol (E15).

Check out Doris de Guzman’s Green Chemicals Blog for views on sustainability issues

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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