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Expert testing of ethanol blended fuels.

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MEDIA RELEASE The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP Australian Minister for the Environment and Water Resources

T25/07 Thursday, 8 March 2007


Today, the Australian Government has released the results of expert testing of vehicles using ethanol blended fuels.

In response to the Biofuels Taskforce report, to the Prime Minister in 2005, the Australian Government has funded vehicle testing to validate information for Australian consumers about the suitability of ethanol blend fuel for cars.

Orbital Australia was commissioned to conduct the testing program, which focused on vehicles listed by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) as unsuitable for use with ethanol blend fuel.

Information about the suitability of many vechiles for use with ethanol blended fuel is available from the FCAI, along with manufacturer contact details at

Using the most recent motor vehicle census (March 2006) and information from the FCAI, the Orbital study estimates that about 7.6 million (60 per cent) of petrol vehicles are suitable for use with E10.

The FCAI confirms that all new Australian cars are suitable for E10 ethanol blended fuel and that the vast majority of new imported car models sold in Australia today are also compatible with E5 or E10 ethanol blended fuels.

On the basis of the Orbital study, the Government continues to recommend that consumers check the FCAI list for information on ethanol use in their vehicle. Motorists should also consult vehicle manufacturers for specific information about their vehicle’s suitability if they have questions.

The FCAI and vehicle manufacturers should continue to ensure that clear, up to date information is available about the suitability of different vehicle models to operate with ethanol blend fuels. We encourage them to work with fuel suppliers and retailers who should provide this information to consumers wherever these fuels are sold.

The Australian Government capped the level of ethanol that can be added to petrol at 10 per cent (E10) in July 2003. That cap will remain, as will the requirement to label ethanol blends above 1 per cent. The Orbital tests have established that it would not be appropriate to allow 5 per cent ethanol (E5) to be sold unlabelled.

The Australian Government is committed to achieving production of at least 350 ML of biofuels (including ethanol) in Australia by 2010.

The full report of Orbital study is available from

Media Contact: Sarah Stock 0404 848 186 or (02) 6277 7640