Which biofuel can I put in my car? And where can I purchase it?
Saab BioPower has been on sale in the UK since late 2005.
Once alone in this segment of the market, nowadays it is joined by a number of rival FFVs, including a selection of cars from Ford, Volvo, Renault, Peugeot and Citroën. Morrisons supermarket is the largest seller of biofuels in this country, opening its first bioethanol E85 pumps to coincide with the first deliveries of the Saab 9-5 BioPower in March 2006.
From Dundee to Bristol and Norwich to Cardiff, there are now bioethanol E85 pumps dotted all over the UK. For a full list and map of where Morrisons sells E85 visit www.saabbiopower.co.uk.
All FFVs can run on bioethanol E85 and/or standard unleaded petrol in any proportions, but only Saab BioPower cars produce up to 20 per cent more horsepower when running on E85 compared with when running on petrol.
Generally speaking, if your car is not an FFV, then it is probably only warrantied to run on a mixture of five per cent bioethanol and 95 per cent petrol (E5) or five per cent biodiesel and 95 per cent fossil diesel (B5). Many supermarkets - including Morrisons, Tesco and Asda - and some petrol stations sell E5 and B5 but do not advertise it as such, so as not to confuse the driver.
By 2013/2014, all fuel retailers will be required by law to make sure that five per cent of the fuel they sell comes from biofuels, which will in theory mean that almost all petrol and diesel sold in the UK will actually be E5/B5. As of April 2008, 2.5 per cent of all petrol and diesel sold in this country must by law come from biofuel. This means that most drivers probably already fill their car up regularly with low biofuel blends without even realising it.
In some of its stores, Morrisons supermarket has also recently started selling biodiesel B30, which is 30 per cent biodiesel and 70 per cent fossil diesel, which some cars and vans in the UK are allowed to run on. If unsure, drivers are advised to check with their dealers before using a higher biofuel blend than E5 or B5.