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European Biofuels labelling - FAQs

The Department for Transport has introduced regulations that legally require new labelling on all fuel dispensers and nozzles in all UK filling stations by 1st September 2019. BP is here to help you understand the new European Biofuels labelling. Below are a set of handy frequently asked questions. 
Have petrol and diesel fuel changed?
No. The fuels are the same as before. The new labels provide an extra way to help you identify the fuel you need, while also providing you with information on the maximum amount of renewable fuel (biofuel) the petrol or diesel fuel may contain. Petrol in now labelled E5, while diesel fuel is labelled B7.
If the fuels are the same, why have these new labels been introduced?

New EU legislation requires that all countries across Europe change to standardised biofuels labelling formats which match the new labels appearing on new vehicles to help make choosing the right fuel as simple as possible for consumers.

 

These labels are being introduced on fuel dispensers and nozzles at all service stations and on new vehicles across Europe. New vehicles will have the label close to the fuel filler cap and in the handbook, so you can match the label on the vehicle to the fuels available at the forecourt.

What do the labels mean?
Different symbols are used for each fuel type on the forecourt, so that they are easy to identify.
E5 Fueling Label

The petrol label always uses a circle. ‘E’ together with a number in the circle indicates the biofuel (bioethanol) that may be contained in the petrol and its maximum content. For example, petrol labelled E5 may contain up to 5% bioethanol. 

B7 Fueling Label

The diesel fuel label always uses a square. ‘B’ together with a number in the square indicates the biofuel (biodiesel) that may be contained in the diesel fuel and its maximum content. Therefore, diesel fuel labelled B7 may contain up to 7% biodiesel.

Do I need to do anything differently?
No. You can continue to fill up with whichever petrol or diesel fuel you were using before. The new labels are just an extra tool to help you make sure you choose the right fuel for your vehicle now and in the future.
What is E5 petrol?
It’s the same unleaded petrol that you’re currently using. Petrol in the UK already contains up to 5% bioethanol and has done for more than 10 years. Both BP regular unleaded petrol and BP Ultimate unleaded petrol are now also labelled as E5.
What is B7 diesel?
It’s the same diesel fuel that you’re currently using. Diesel fuel in the UK already contains up to 7% biodiesel and has done for more than 10 years. Both BP regular diesel and BP Ultimate Diesel are now also labelled as B7.
My car/motorbike has a label saying it can use E10. What’s E10?

E10 is a grade of petrol that may contain up to 10% bioethanol. It is already sold in parts of Europe as well as the USA and Australia but not in the UK yet. Most vehicles produced since 2000 are able to run on E10 petrol. Vehicles that can run on E10 can also run on E5 petrol and, for new vehicles, will typically have both labels by the fuel filler cap.

 

E10 could be available in the UK in the future as a way of helping to reduce the carbon emissions from petrol vehicles and meet climate change targets.

My car/motorbike has a label saying it can use E10, so can I use BP Ultimate unleaded and BP regular unleaded?
Yes. Vehicles that have the E10 label can use petrol containing up to 10% bioethanol and they can also use petrol that contains up to 5% bioethanol. Both BP Ultimate unleaded and BP regular unleaded may contain up to 5% bioethanol so are fine to use in your vehicle.
My diesel vehicle has a label which says ‘no biodiesel’, so can I use BP Ultimate Diesel and BP regular diesel?

Yes. All vehicles that can use current diesel fuel can safely use BP Ultimate Diesel or BP regular diesel. B7 labels are appearing on new diesel vehicles but some older cars may have a label saying ‘no biodiesel’ by the fuel filler cap. This only refers to diesel fuel containing much higher proportions of biodiesel (i.e. more than 7%). 

 

However, if you are still unsure or concerned, we recommend you check with your dealer or the vehicle manufacturer.

What is a renewable fuel?
Renewable fuels (which include biofuels such as bioethanol or biodiesel) are substitutes for conventional oil-based fossil fuels. They are made from renewable sources such as sustainable energy crops or waste materials from agriculture and food processing. Partly replacing fossil fuels with renewable fuels helps lower overall carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and meet climate change targets.Renewable fuels reduce CO2 because the biomass used to make them absorbs CO2 as it grows. This offsets the CO2 produced when the fuel is used by the vehicle.
Why are renewable fuels added to petrol and diesel? What’s the benefit?

Biofuels have been added to fuels in the UK for over 10 years. That’s because they reduce the carbon emissions from the millions of vehicles already on the roads - with no additional effort required by motorists - and our reliance on fossil fuels. 

 

In 2018, using renewable fuels in road fuels in the UK reduced overall CO2 emissions by around 2.7 million tonnes; that’s the equivalent of taking more than a million cars off the road.

How do governments ensure the use of renewable fuels is benefical and does not harm the environment or increase food prices?
All renewable fuels must pass strict sustainability tests to ensure they are helping reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and not harming the environment. In addition, the amount of food crops that can be used is capped and there are extra incentives for fuels produced from waste.