You will by now be aware that the Queensland Government has passed legislation that will mandate the use of ethanol in unleaded petrol. This will happen from mid-2016. The figure agreed to is 3 percent, rising to 4 percent in 2017, rather than the 2 percent that was proposed during the consultation discussions. The historic vehicle movement should be very disappointed with this outcome as we were always lead to believe that by providing a 2 percent mandate there would still be unblended ULP available for vehicles that are not ethanol compatible. The mandating of 3 and then 4 percent ethanol is likely to force many retailers to completely remove ULP from their sites in order to achieve the government’s ethanol sales targets, reducing consumer choice. Maintaining consumer choice was a key element to the government’s ethanol mandate proposal.
It is also likely that there could be increases in fuel costs to cover the refurbishment of service stations as retailers seek to increase sales to meet the Government’s targets.
If ULP is unavailable, motorists wishing to avoid ethanol blends because their vehicles can’t operate on them correctly will have little option than to opt for one of the significantly more expensive non-ethanol premium fuels.
The standard advice is that vehicles that were not intended to operate on ethanol blends should not use them due to the potential for fuel system damage and hot fuel handling issues such as vapourisation.