Da do Ron (99?)

Anyone still buying premium fuel at over £1.85 per litre?
Do you think the petrol price hike is a ploy to get everyone to buy 'EV’s? (Especially as there’s no shortage in petrol!)

  1. My model of MX-5 is: ND1 RF
  2. I’m based near: Mansfield
  3. I’m looking for technical help or recommendations on: Fuel

£1.995 here! 18p a litre more than E10

Are you using it tho?

No choice, mine is remapped to run only 99

Tesco Momentum, for the lower ethanol content and the additives. The price differential is lower vs. E10 than with V-Power or BP Ultimate.

Fuel is going up globally. There is no worldwide conspiracy by governments to force you on to an EV. Oil prices are up because of a surge in demand, as the Pandemic moves to an Endemic phase, moe of less at the same time everywhere. Added to that the Russo-Ukrainian War, its timing being possibly related to the Pandemic as well.

The price of a barrel of oil has doubled in 12 months (daily average). The recent spike is due to the EU ban on Russian oil. Moeover, the EU is targeting insurers, making it more expensive for the Russians to move oil elsewhere. I guess this further choke supply. But there are hints that China is slowing down, which might not be good news for us. Saudi Arabia is the main exporter of oil, followed by Russia. Oil analysts expect that is Russian supply continues to be cut by 20%, the price per barrel will continue to be above $100 well into 2023. Don’t expect a fall in the price of fuel.


But the massive profits the oil companies have announced recently, surely prove that there is quite a margin on the product that they are selling? If fuel was cheaper, they would still make a profit and everyone would benefit from having more disposable income. The knock-on effect being that essential goods will be cheaper?

That doesn’t explain the much larger difference between unleaded and premium though

The linked article is from 2016 however the basis is still sound. Currently demand is higher than normal market supply so the prices go up, oil and gas are traded on global markets so the base barrel per oil cost is similar.

Refining costs, transportation to market, local taxes and profit influence the sales price at the pump.

Refinery capacity in the UK and Europe has fallen in the last period, our refineries tended to be older and they are hideously expensive to build and take a long time (company I work for builds them among other things). Lack of investment on the basis that refined products were readily available in the global supply chain meant that that was not seen as an issue, however brexit, pandemic and war in Ukraine are affecting the availablility which also pressures prices.

The government tax take increases with every retail price increase too.

Same here with my NC1…

The RAC has a breakdown (for E10):

The number they have used for the cost of petrol is inline with the average price of Super Unleaded E5 found in the AA’s April survey, the most recent validated data source I was able to identify.

Duty and VAT are well know; pre-2022 Spring Budget, the duty rate was 57.95 pence per liter irrespective of petrol grade. VAT is levied at 20% on both duty and the actual cost of the fuel.

So, from this, we know pure petrol is a shade under 0.1 pence per ml. Bioethanol though is more than double, at almost 0.24p pence per ml.

The EU derives pretty much all of its bioethanol from agricultural waste, via half a dozen companies or so, and I think most of that waste originates in the EU. In the UK, until quite recently, most bioethanol came from sugar, supplied by British Sugar, grown in the UK or in Mauritius, Zambia and other places, or wheat, a big chunk of which I suspect comes from Ukraine-Russia… I think there is some waste-derived ethanol being added now though. Most US bioethanol comes from corn. Sugar is a commodity, and commodity prices have increased. On the other hand agricultural waste, until recently, didn’t have any value (it was waste, and represented a cost of something to be got rid of). That might be change now; waste now have a value, and will be traded. Nevertheless, instinctively, the UK is probably paying more per unit for ethanol compared to the EU.

E10 contains upto twice as much ethanol as E5; we know some brands of E5 contain no bioethanol. This is more profitable for the oil companies; profit from bioethanol does not go to the oil companies. They don’t produce bioethanol. They have to buy this in from someone else who is making a profit. But for E10, there is less dino fuel per liter than E5, and the result is a 4-5 pence reduction in how much dino petrol is in your liter of E10, compared to E5. That’s 4-5 pence NOT going to an oil company (with the notable exception of Vivergo, part owned by BP). But in E10, the cost element of bioethanol doubles (5% to 10%). E10 is more expensive to make than E5, but costs less at the pump. E5 sales are subsidizing E10. But in other (more important ways), E10 is less costly. Every liter of E10 means less usage of fossil carbon, and more usage of biogenic carbon, eventually bringing the carbon cycle more towards equilibrium (ie. reducing the accumulation of carbon dioxide, because of an inbalance in the reduction/oxidized phases.}.

Here is what is interesting. There is a lot of R&D that goes in to extract oil; to find new sources, to get it out of the ground, to transport it. But what about bioethanol. It uses literally the oldest chemistry known to man; fermentation. We let biology do the heavy lifting. We can tweak things a bit, through genetic selection, enzymology etc. We are not running out of the feedstock (quite the oppositve). Where you are using something that has to be grown, like sugar beets/cane or corn, there are other inputs, and oil is likely to be needed (fertiliser production).

British Sugar is part of Associated British Foods, over half of which is owned by Whittingham Investments. Interestingly, almost 80% of this is owned by a Canadian charity, the Garfield Weston Foundation. ABF’s financials are pretty small fry compared to the oil companies, and revenue is down, not up, because of course, they have a more complex portfolio of products than the oil companies. But I can see these companies becoming more in the public eye. Most would be oblivious to the names of these companies


There is no question the greedy oil companies are cashing in on not only the cost of petrol/diesel but the differences between unleaded and super unleaded.

Before this E10 nonsense the price between unleaded and super was around 7P. Now it’s 17P or even more. Greed.

But we can use an additive rather than feed the greed.

Also for those like me whose car gets very little use a fuel stabiliser is a great idea as E10 goes off within a few weeks.

Apparently, also it’s because of the green policy whereby we don’t refine oil as much. So, we rely on Russia in part, and look where that’s got us?! And, 55p of the price is tax!!

The Fuel Duty is about 55p and there’s also 20% VAT on top!So the best part of £1 from each litre goes to Boris and Co!!!

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While we’re on the subject, my 5 (NC 3.75 sport tech) says on the fuel cap that it should be filled with super unleaded, however I never bother given the price difference and just standard unleaded in. Am I killing my car or being sensible in not paying for the super? My Dad always used to say it was a marketing con and that kind of stuck with me…

I think it says Premium Unleaded and Super Sans Plomb which is French for the same thing.

Discussed here recently.


that is one long thread…!

Your Dad was wrong. Mine is mapped to run Super, and when it was being mapped Clive noticed the difference, he could map it for more power.

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Super sans plomb is 95 octane which is E10, E5 is 97. I would guess the “super sand plomb” which just translate to super unleaded came from the time when there was a lesser fuel on the market.

But what damage does E10 do? I ran my mapped car on E5 for ages and then it became close to £2 a liter and switched to E10, runs fine, no unexpected knocking etc
Is it down on power? Not that the booty dyno can notice, this is not a 500hp turbo charged car. It’s worse for some motorcycles as they use plastic tanks and e10 can cause them to end up warping but that’s a long way off from first use.

Ironically you’re less likely to notice in a 500hp car than one with 100hp (or the equivalent torque difference)
The problem with plastic tanks on bikes has been an issue for 20+ years - the tank can swell so much it becomes impossible to remove as they wedge themselves between the frame spars, and if you do manage to get it off it then becomes impossible to put it back on. (early 00’s Ducati and Aprilia in particular) New tank and zero ethanol was the only answer back then.