Ministers say the introduction of E10 fuel, which is a mixture of petrol and ethanol made from materials including low grade grains, sugars and waste wood, will boost the Government’s ambitions to reach net zero by 2050.
Its introduction on UK roads could cut transport CO2 emissions by 750,000 tonnes per year, the equivalent of taking 350,000 cars off the road, it is claimed, the equivalent of all the cars in North Yorkshire.
It comes after campaigning by MPs including 'blue wall' Conservative Matt Vickers, representing Stockton South, who says allowing E10 to be sold would support job creation through emerging green industries, particularly on the Humber.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “We’re going further and faster than ever to cut emissions from our roads, cleaning up our air as we accelerate towards a zero-emission transport future.
"Although more and more motorists are driving electric vehicles, there are steps we can take to reduce emissions from the millions of vehicles already on our roads – the small switch to E10 petrol will help drivers across the country reduce the environmental impact of every journey, as we build back greener.”
E10 fuel has up to 10 per cent bioethanol, twice the quantity of the two petrol blends that are currently widely available in the UK, meaning its use can reduce CO2 emissions.
But the introduction of the fuel has caused some controversy, with as many as 600,000 vehicles on our roads thought not to be compatible.
The Government says older vehicles including classic cars, and some from the early 2000s, will continue to need E5 fuel, which is why supplies of E5 petrol will be maintained in the super grade.
The Department for Transport says the news will also boost job opportunities in the North East, securing up to 100 jobs with the reopening of AB Sugar’s Vivergo plant, and increasing production at existing biofuel plants including Ensus.
Dr Mark Carr, Group Chief Executive of AB Sugar, said: “We’ve long been calling for this introduction as E10 is one of the quickest, easiest and most cost-effective ways of the UK reducing its carbon emissions whilst providing an economic boost to sustaining the British biofuels industry and the local and national economy.
“We will be recruiting around 85 highly skilled green jobs in addition to the core team that remained in place during its closure in the North East of England and re-opening a new market for wheat farmers in the UK”.