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Motorists Turned Off by E10 Petrol

The new type of petrol known as 95 E10, which was introduced in Finland at the beginning of this year, has proved to be deeply unpopular.

Image: YLE / Anssi Leppänen

Motorists are now buying more of the traditional 98-octane petrol, which costs more and is considered to have a greater carbon footprint.

The large petrol station chains St1 and ABC say that 98-octane is selling better than E10. The chains say they are considering halting sales of E10 at dozens of fully-automated filling stations.

Drivers Dissatisfied

Some drivers say that E10 fuel, which contains up to 10 percent ethanol, results in poor car performance.

Last month, a quarter of members of the Automobile and Touring Club of Finland (ATCF) say they would not use the new petrol. According to a survey conducted by the organisation, more than one-fifth of those who started using the new petrol have given it up, while a similar proportion said that fuel economy declined when they started using it.

The ATCF cautioned that the survey only polled members' opinions. The association said that the recent spirited discussions about the E10 fuel has led many to attribute poor performance to the fuel, when it may have been caused by other factors.

E10 was introduced as part of EU efforts to reach emission cuts. It contains up to 10 percent ethanol, whereas the limit for regular gasoline is five percent. The new fuel is suitable for use in more than 70 percent of vehicles. The old type of 98-octane petrol remains available for those with older cars. This '98 E5' petrol is recommended for vehicles with an octane requirement above 95.

The change is part of a reform of energy taxation, aimed at limiting greenhouse gas emissions. The tax on ethanol dropped, while that on coal and natural gas rose.

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