According to the Telegraph, retailers say the Government’s switch to greener fuel played a significant role in September’s petrol crisis. The chairman of the Petrol Retailers Association, Brian Madderson, said fuel shortages came as an “unintended consequence” of the Government’s decision to switch to E10 petrol.
“For weeks, we had been emptying our tanks of E5, the old fuel, as fast as we could to get ready for E10,” he said.
“We had all run our petrol stocks down.
“So, when the panic buying started, many of our members ran out pretty quickly.
“Then the shortage of HGV drivers meant we couldn’t get supplies of petrol or diesel quickly enough.
“I don’t blame the Government particularly but the E10 switchover clearly had an unintended consequence: we couldn’t cope with the surge in demand.”
The Government replaced standard E5 unleaded petrol with the greener E10 fuel on September 1.
Following the change, the amount of fuel stored at the UK’s forecourts dipped by up to a quarter.
Official figures released by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Industrial Strategy on Thursday, also appear to indicate fuel deliveries remained stable before the switch to E10, despite a shortage in HGV drivers.
However, the Department for Transport has suggested the greener fuel does not explain the shortage.
A spokesperson from Great Minster House told the Telegraph: “There is no evidence to suggest that the introduction of E10 was related to the fuel shortage.
The Government suggests the switch could reduce CO2 emissions by 750,000 tonnes per year.
However, Whitehall also claimed drivers may get slightly fewer miles to the gallon on the new petrol.