Analytical Instrumentation

  • How is the EU Changing Fuel Labels?

How is the EU Changing Fuel Labels?

Oct 10 2018 Read 614 Times

In the wake of new rules designed to standardise fuel pumps in the EU zone, labelling in petrol stations across Europe is set to undergo significant change. The modifications are part of the European Union's Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive 2018, an action plan that outlines the minimum requirements needed to build up alternative fuel infrastructure across the 28 member states.

Letters, numbers and shapes

Under the new directive developed by the European Committee for Standardisation, traditional “Unleaded” and “Diesel” pumps will be relabelled with simple letters and numbers indicating fuel type and biofuel content. Drivers can expect to see “Unleaded 95” and “Unleaded 98” wording replaced with the letter “E” and accompanied by the number "5" or "10" depending on biofuel content. The characters will be enclosed in a circle shape to indicate petrol-based fuels.  

The letter "B" enclosed in a square will be used to identify diesel, with biodiesel content indicated with a "7" or "10". Synthetic diesel derived from natural gas or vegetable oil will be advertised as “XTL” while hydrogen fuel is identified as "H2" and compressed natural gas as "CNG". Liquefied petroleum gas will be labelled as "LPG" and liquefied natural gas as "LNG".

EU champions a "harmonised" approach

The committee asserts that the new "harmonised" labels will streamline the way fuel information is provided across the Single Market and help drivers understand what they're purchasing. The committee has assured motorists there will be a lengthy transition period, with both new and old labels displayed alongside each other until drivers comprehend the switch. As well as reimagining pump labelling, the new symbols will be emblazoned on the fuel caps of all new vehicles manufactured in the UK after October 12. The information will also be advertised at vehicle dealerships and in owner manuals to ensure a seamless transition.

Looking forward, the European Committee for Standardisation is currently developing standard labels for electric vehicle power supplies, which are expected to hit charge stations by as early as February 2019.

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