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Ethanol-based fuel is now No.1 petrol choice at the pump for French motorists

Petrol containing 10 percent ethanol has become the number-one selling gasoline blend in France, according to new figures released by Collective du bioéthanol. France pioneered the use of SP95-E10 in Europe, in 2009 whereas Germany, Finland and Belgium have since also introduced E10 into their domestic markets. Other European countries like the UK and Netherlands are gearing up to follow suit.

E10 has become the number one petrol blend in France (images courtesy Collective du bioéthanol).

In September 2017, SP95-E10 became the best-selling petrol grade in France with a 38.5 percent market share, ahead of SP95 (36.8 percent). Petrol consumption increased 3.7 percent over the last 12 months compared to the 12 months before according to Collective du bioéthanol, a French fuel ethanol promotional body backed by the Association Interprofessionnelle de la Betterave et du Sucre (AIBS) and Syndicat National des Producteurs d’Alcool Agricole (SNPAA).

In addition, French motorists now switching back to petrol-powered vehicles, with sales outstripping diesel for the first time in 17 years (48.2 percent as opposed to 46.8 percent). The new petrol models with low consumption engines have all been designed to run on SP95-E10. The fuel is available in over 5 900 service stations across the country.

All Peugeot, Citroën and DS petrol-powered vehicles registered since 2000 are compatible with SP95-E10, said Virginie de Chassey, Director for Public Affairs for PSA.

Predominately French feedstock

Ethanol used in France is mainly derived from French cereals and beet which Collective du bioéthanol says yield both food and energy in compliance with European sustainability criteria. The SP95-E10 bioethanol content helps reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by over 50 percent compared to petrol.

Bioethanol is a great asset for sustainable, diversified agriculture in France and helps cut GHG emissions in the transport sector, commented Eric Lainé, President of Confédération Générale des Planteurs de Betteraves (CCB).

Collective du bioéthanol point out that SP95-E10 has thus far achieved lasting benchmark status as the petrol blend used by French drivers. The swift development of Superethanol-E85 is seen as an additional opportunity as it contains 65%-85% bioethanol and can be used in Flex Fuel vehicles and those fitted with a conversion kit.

Increased use of ethanol helps drive the French bioeconomy and holds “great potential” for jobs in agriculture, industry, research and services. A procedure to approve these is to be published in the end of 2017 in a decree issued by the French Ministry for Environment and Energy.

We are counting on our new government to continue to promote the benefits of bioethanol, including in future EU-wide debates on the various sources of energy to be used beyond 2020, said Bruno Hot, President of SNPAA.

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