E10 to fuel driver frustration

HUNDREDS of cars across the Fraser Coast will be unable to use the new ethanol-blended E10 fuel that is now replacing regular unleaded petrol in service stations across the south-east and fast heading our way.

The State Government's new mandate says that five percent of all regular unleaded petrol sold in Queensland must be ethanol-blended E10 by January 2011.

“This is very serious,” Steve Spalding, the RACQ's Vehicle Technologies Manager told the Chronicle yesterday.

“This is much more than simply saying older cars will be affected.”

E10 cannot be used by cars as late as 2004 or 2005 models. This is not widely known.

“The majority of motorcycles are also not compatible, especially motorcycles with smaller tanks. The top four motorcycle brands, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha say their cycles are not suitable for E10.”

Steve Spalding also said owners of ride-on mowers and brushcutters, providing they were not current models, would also be affected.

“And boaties will also suffer. Outboard motors shouldn't take E10 because of water absorption problems,” he said.

Mr Spalding said that all Nissan models from 2004 would be ok to take the blend “but not before that date”.

“Mazda varies on different models,” he said.

“Motorists need to check out the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) website to see if their car can take E10.” The Against Ethanol Mandates Alliance' (AEMA) says the mandate will reduce the availability of regular unleaded petrol, forcing consumers with incompatible vehicles and engines to purchase premium unleaded.

“A significant number of Queensland motorists can expect to pay up to 12 cents per litre more for petrol after January next year,” Mr Spalding said.

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