Britain is consulting on plans for E10, a lower carbon fuel made with up to 10% ethanol, to become the standard grade of petrol at UK filling stations from next year.

By increasing the ethanol content of petrol, E10 has the potential to cut CO2 from transport by 750,000 tonnes per year, maintains Britain’s Department for Transport. That is the equivalent to taking around 350,000 cars off the road it claims.

“The next 15 years will be absolutely crucial for slashing emissions from our roads, as we all start to feel the benefits of the transition to a zero-emission future,” said British Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps.

“But before electric cars become the norm, we want to take advantage of reduced CO2 emissions today. This small switch to petrol containing bioethanol at 10% will help drivers across country reduce the environmental impact of every journey. Overall this could equate to about 350,000 cars being taken off our roads entirely.”

Current petrol grades in the UK already contain up to 5% bioethanol, known as E5.

E10 would see this percentage increased up to 10%, a blend which is already used in other countries such as Belgium, Finland, France and Germany.