AAA Calls for Immediate Limit on Ethanol Blending


The Australian Automobile Association has today called on the Government to set a maximum limit of no more than 10 per cent of ethanol in any petrol and to ensure ethanol blends are labelled on service station pumps showing the percentage of ethanol in the blend.


The AAA Executive Director, Lauchlan McIntosh said that the admission by the Australian Biofuels Association that some petrol outlets were selling up to 20 per cent ethanol in petrol was deceptive and dangerous in light of statements from vehicle and marine engine manufacturers.


Holden has stated that use of ethanol blends over 10 per cent "will corrode prematurely metallic components in the fuel system and plastics/rubber will prematurely degrade".  Toyota has stated that "If E 20 (20% blends of ethanol) became an option, we would be compelled to strongly advise our customers not to use such a fuel and that problems arising from doing so, would not be covered by the Toyota Service Warranty".


Honda advices against the use of blends over 10 per cent in their two-stroke motors and the Australian Marine Industries Federation is quoted in the press as saying that problems caused by a fuel mixture containing more than 10 per cent ethanol for use in boats could "contribute to loss of life or serious injury".


Mr. McIntosh said that in light of this expert advice, the Government had no choice other than to act immediately to protect consumers.


"At present there is no limit on the level of ethanol blended in petrol and no requirement to inform consumers that ethanol has been used or in what proportions."


"Motorists may, unknowingly, be voiding their vehicle warranties, and that is totally unacceptable. AAA today calls on the Government to immediately limit the level of ethanol that may be used and ensure proper labelling."


"We also oppose any mandated inclusion of ethanol in petrol. Ethanol has a lower energy content than petrol so even if it could be produced for the same price, it would still cost motorists more because they would not be able to travel the same distance on a tank of ethanol-blended fuel,' Mr. McIntosh said.

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