Sunday, April 06, 2008

Germany Cancels Plans to Introduce E10 in 2009

More than 3 million cars in Germany cannot run on a new biofuel the government wants to introduce, well over a limit the administration has set as a pre-condition for its use, industry sources said.

Around 330,000 cars made by German manufacturers, plus more than 3 million imported cars, are unable to run on the new fuel, industry sources familiar with the data said. The environment ministry declined to comment on the figures.

In a newspaper, Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel said he would annul a government decree that the fuel, called E-10, be introduced if too many cars were unable to run on it. "We won't implement it if the number exceeds a million vehicles," he told the Stuttgarter Nachrichten daily.

E-10 mixes regular gasoline with biofuel. The biofuel component accounts for up to 10 per cent of the total fuel content. The ADAC motorists' association called for the introduction of E-10 to be delayed until 2012.

Mr Gabriel is waiting for figures from the auto industry on the number of cars unable to use the fuel before taking a final decision on whether or not to introduce it. The government's push to introduce E-10 is part of a broader drive to curb emissions.

European Union states agreed in principle last year to cut emissions by at least one fifth by 2020 from 1990 levels, to use 20 per cent of renewable energy sources in power production and 10 per cent of biofuels from crops in transport by the same date.

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