Fleet News

Fuel criticism is ‘out of date’

The UK Petroleum Industry Association (UKPIA) has hit out at the European Commission’s accusation that Britain is lagging behind many of its European Union neighbours over the introduction of sulphur-free fuels.

UKPIA says the commission’s report 'Quality of petrol and diesel fuel used for road transport in the European Union' is outdated and ignores recent advancements in the distribution of sulphur-free fuels.

The report says many EU countries were selling this much-cleaner petrol and diesel, while Britain was still selling low-sulphur fuel, which has a sulphur content of between 10 and 50 parts per million.

It set a deadline of 2009 for the introduction of sulphur-free fuels – a target the UKPIA says will easily be met here.

“Some 55% of diesel sold in Britain is already sulphur-free,” said a UKPIA spokesman. “And by the end of next year all petrol and diesel sold in Britain will be sulphur-free.”

However, Britain is still some way behind Germany, which has switched entirely to sulphur-free fuel, with 31 billion litres of petrol and 34 billion litres of diesel sold since 2005.

Sweden, Denmark and Finland had also switched entirely to sulphur-free fuels by that year, while Austria, Belgium, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Estonia and Poland are already selling both sulphur-free and low-sulphur fuels.

However, the UK does have some allies: the Netherlands, Luxembourg, the Czech Republic, Malta and Slovenia have not yet moved to only sulphur-free fuels.

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