Scott Sawyer, 03 December 2015

ONE Coast car enthusiast is not sold on a State Government decision to see ethanol-blended fuel consumption driven upwards.

Ritchie Duce, local photographer and a former car club founder says he personally was still hesitant about using E10 fuel in his vehicles, including his latest pride and joy, a Ford FG XR6 Ute.

“I probably wouldn’t use E10 on any of my cars just for the fact there’s always that what if and that doubt about E10,” Mr Duce said.

He said there was plenty of different opinion about E10 fuel, but he was more inclined to stick with premium unleaded petrol, given it was what he considered to be more efficient and kinder on vehicle engines.

Mr Duce’s comments come as the State Government announced an ethanol mandate, which will see ethanol fuel make up 3% of all regular unleaded sales, jumping to 4% in time.

For this to take place, in effect, 30% of all regular unleaded sold would have to be of the E10 variety, eventually increasing to 40%, to reach those quotas.

RACQ executive manager public policy Michael Roth said the motoring body was concerned the move could see regular unleaded simply disappear in some markets, as service stations reduce the fuelling options available to drivers, offering either discount E10 or pricey, premium unleaded, to hit their quota.

“Premium is already too expensive,” Mr Roth said.

He said the biggest impact would be on those with older cars (pre-1986), given E10 was suitable to more modern cars.

“Some may choose to sell their old car if it’s not E10 compatible,” he said.

He also explained that some service stations may not be able to afford to transition to E10 capabilities, driving independents out of the market or some branches simply closing, reducing competition in some areas.

“Marginal servos may choose to close,” Mr Roth said.

He noted there were exemptions for some operators, but that most on the Sunshine Coast would be covered by the legislation passed this week.

However David Szymczak, chief operating officer of United Petroleum and Dalby Biorefinery said there were many misconceptions about ethanol-blended fuel.

He said ethanol had already been close to 4% about 5 years ago, and could see no problems with the legislation.

“E10 is a better fuel,” he said.

“It’s already mandated in 60 countries and it’s all throughout the US.”

He said ethanol blends were surprisingly efficient, and was a higher octane than many realised, as ethanol was a natural octane enhancer and burnt cleaner.

Extracted in full from the Sunshine Coast Daily.