Fleet News

Carmakers critical of new fuel rules

The European automobile manufacturers’ association, ACEA, has said that motorists will be likely to put the wrong fuel in their vehicle following the introduction of new rules.

The new rules “could result in a fragmented internal market for fuels and lead to consumer confusion at the filling station,” said Ivan Hodac, ACEA secretary general.

Mr Hodac said that the new rules will allow each European country to set its own levels of biodiesel concentrations within standard diesel sold at the pumps.

A concentration of more than 7% FAME (fatty acid methyl ester) into diesel can cause mechanical problems and should not be allowed anywhere in Europe he said.

“The vehicle manufacturers cannot comprehend why the European Parliament has now agreed that, while diesel shall include a maximum 7%FAME, European countries may also market diesel with a FAME content greater than 7%,” Mr Hodac said.

“This creates an ambiguous and difficult situation.

"It means that different European countries can have different diesel quality in their territory without any standardisation.

"This bypasses the whole idea of having a single European standard in the internal market.

"Consumers need to have access to a consistent fuel quality across the EU.”

In June, ACEA made a commitment that from 2010 all new petrol vehicles will be compatible with petrol containing a maximum of 10% ethanol (E10) and all new diesel vehicles will be compatible with diesel containing a maximum of 7% FAME (B7).

“ACEA is also very concerned by the insufficient level of information to consumers regarding the biofuel content of both petrol and diesel,” said Mr Hodac.

The parliament has now agreed that specific labelling of the filling station pump will not be mandatory.

“This is totally insufficient, as consumers must know what fuel they are putting into their vehicles. ACEA has committed to do its part by advising consumers on which fuel to use.

"However, the EU must ensure consumer access to fuels that are fit for purpose and according to specifications and standards that provide for a consistent and harmonised market fuel quality across the EU”, added Mr Hodac.

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