E10 state of play

CHOICE looks at the pros and cons of biofuels such as ethanol.
 
Learn more
 
 
 
 
 

01 .Introduction

E10

With regular unleaded petrol soon to be phased out in NSW, many drivers will have no choice about using E10 - unless they want to pay for a premium unleaded fuel. Queensland was also set to introduce an ethanol mandate for petrol, but in a last-minute reprieve, this has been suspended.

Ethanol is safe to use in most new cars, as well as older vehicles manufactured after 1986, up to a maximum concentration of 10% – which is no problem as, by law, E10 cannot have a concentration higher than 10%.

Currently, there is no uniform national framework for the introduction of biofuels, although the federal government is considering a review of existing Australian biofuel programs and policies.

Because of these pressures, CHOICE believes more consumer education about E10 petrol and vehicle compatibility is needed. We are also concerned about possible price rises when the fuel excise subsidy runs out, unless production costs can be lowered.

Is E10 suitable for all new cars?

Many new cars have an “E10 suitable” sticker on or near the fuel cap. However, there are some exceptions with certain models of cars, so always check with your vehicle manufacturer first. Some fuel-injected engines may have problems from deterioration of certain components such as seals, pipes and fuel pumps.

Check the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries website for a list of post-1986 vehicles and motorbikes that are compatible with E10. It also details some models that aren’t suitable – for example, many pre-1986 vehicles have carburettor fuel systems that may struggle with the higher vapour pressure of ethanol, as well as steel fuel tanks that can be damaged by ethanol.

What does it cost?

Ethanol is produced by fermenting sugars from plants such as wheat, sorghum and molasses. Locally produced ethanol attracts a fuel excise rebate of 38c per litre (which matches the excise tax exactly), and this will continue until 30 June 2011. So effectively it is tax-free right now. But after this date the excise tax will be applied to ethanol (and biodiesel) on a sliding scale until it reaches half the excise on conventional fuel by 2015.

The excise rebate provides a price incentive to encourage the uptake of ethanol and E10, which has higher production costs. However, as demand increases and production expands, the costs should lower so that, when the excise rebate is reduced, it won’t mean higher prices at the bowser.

The hidden cost of ethanol

One of the downsides of ethanol is fuel consumption. Pure ethanol has less energy than petrol, so an E10 blend with 10% ethanol results in 3.5% higher fuel consumption on average. However, some motoring experts believe changes to fuel consumption depend on how the engine adapts to the different type of fuel – so any variations in consumption are likely to be different for different types of vehicles and not necessarily uniform across all cars.

According to our calculations, E10 was three cents cheaper when petrol cost $1, but now that petrol costs more and E10 isn’t 3% cheaper, you’ll end up paying slightly more – about nine cents for every 100km travelled in a Toyota Corolla for a saving of 0.4kg of CO2 per 100km.

What's happening in my state?

New South Wales is currently the only state with a government mandate for E10.

  • In NSW, the government introduced an ethanol mandate in 2007 that ensured 2% of all petrol sold had to be made up of ethanol; this will rise to 6% by 1 January 2011. From 1 July 2011, regular unleaded petrol will be phased out in favour of E10. 
  • The Queensland state government has been actively promoting E10 for several years, both for environmental benefits and to maximise opportunities for local growers and industry. Regular unleaded petrol was to be phased out by the end of 2010, but in October the government put a hold on plans to introduce a 5% ethanol mandate for petrol. According to the government, 120 million litres of ethanol fuel is currently produced in Queensland and is expected to increase in coming years.
  • Victoria does not have a government mandate to replace regular unleaded petrol with E10, but will consider it down the track. Currently it has a 5% biofuels target by 2010, which consists in large part of using biodiesel. 
  • The South Australian government does not mandate the use of ethanol in unleaded fuel. The government is monitoring developments in the petroleum industry nationwide, but has no plans to phase out unleaded petrol. In SA, none of the four major petrol companies stocks E10, but it is sold in at least 65 independent service stations. 
  • In Western Australia, there is no government mandate for the supply of E10, but it has a target of 5% for biofuels. It is examining growing grain for ethanol production and is also trialling biodiesel in some buses. 
  • In Tasmania and the Northern Territory, there are no moves to phase out regular unleaded petrol in favour of E10. 
  • The ACT does not currently have an ethanol mandate or biofuels target.
 
 

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SoundWed, 27 Nov 2013 11:58:00 GMT
Review: Xbox One http://www.choice.com.au/reviews-and-tests/entertainment/Visual/video-games/Review-Xbox-One.aspx

We lined up at midnight on launch day to get our hands on the Xbox One, the first major overhaul of the Xbox in eight years. Here's what we found.

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VisualWed, 27 Nov 2013 10:53:00 GMT
Consoles: good for more than video games http://www.choice.com.au/reviews-and-tests/entertainment/Visual/video-games/State-of-play-consoles-2013.aspx

The next generation of consoles could replace your DVD, Blu-ray player or media hub.

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VisualWed, 20 Nov 2013 16:59:00 GMT
First look: Ouya http://www.choice.com.au/reviews-and-tests/entertainment/Visual/video-games/First_Look_OUYA.aspx

The next console to step into the ring against Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo - but costs far less than the big boys. Does it deserve a place in your living room?

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VisualTue, 19 Nov 2013 09:42:00 GMT
Quick look: home theatre http://www.choice.com.au/reviews-and-tests/entertainment/Sound/Home-theatre-systems/Home-theatre-quick-look.aspx

CHOICE provides a realistic look at home theatre in a box.

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SoundTue, 10 Sep 2013 10:17:00 GMT
First look: Sony 4K TV http://www.choice.com.au/reviews-and-tests/entertainment/Visual/Plasma-LED-and-LCD-TVs/First_look_Sony_4K_TV.aspx

CHOICE has a first look at the Sony 4K TV.

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VisualMon, 02 Sep 2013 13:59:00 GMT
Soundbar reviews http://www.choice.com.au/reviews-and-tests/entertainment/Sound/Home-theatre-systems/soundbar-review-and-compare.aspx

All the soundbars on test deliver better sound than you’ll get from your TV, but some demand a lot more money than others for the privilege.

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SoundTue, 30 Jul 2013 12:12:00 GMT
Blu-ray player reviews http://www.choice.com.au/reviews-and-tests/entertainment/Visual/CD-DVD-Blu-Ray-Players/blu-ray-players-review-and-compare.aspx

Blu-ray players are the next step up from the DVD player, but how effective is the evolution?

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VisualWed, 26 Jun 2013 10:42:00 GMT
Home theatre projectors http://www.choice.com.au/reviews-and-tests/entertainment/Visual/Plasma-LED-and-LCD-TVs/Home-theatre-projectors.aspx

We've tested 10 home theatre projectors, ranging in price from $1799 to $3999, to reveal which have the best picture quality and are easiest to use.

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VisualTue, 19 Mar 2013 16:06:00 GMT
Digital home networking http://www.choice.com.au/reviews-and-tests/entertainment/Visual/Plasma-LED-and-LCD-TVs/Living-in-a-digital-home.aspx

The latest networked and wireless technologies will make the task of connecting all your home entertainment gear easier.

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VisualTue, 15 Jan 2013 11:53:00 GMT
LG 84 inch TV first look http://www.choice.com.au/reviews-and-tests/entertainment/Visual/Plasma-LED-and-LCD-TVs/LG-84inch-LM9600-TV-first-look.aspx

This impressive TV will appeal to people who want a big screen with the potential to deliver very high definition images.

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VisualFri, 19 Oct 2012 15:46:00 GMT
Sony 3D viewer first look http://www.choice.com.au/reviews-and-tests/entertainment/Visual/Plasma-LED-and-LCD-TVs/sony-personal-3d-first-look.aspx

We take a look at the Sony HMZ-T1 personal 3d viewer, and find out whether it stacks up to its claims.

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VisualTue, 01 May 2012 13:14:00 GMT
2012 Apple TV first look http://www.choice.com.au/reviews-and-tests/entertainment/Visual/Plasma-LED-and-LCD-TVs/apple-tv-first-look.aspx

We get hands on with the new 1080p Apple TV, and check out some of its new features.

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VisualTue, 20 Mar 2012 10:31:00 GMT
Digital radio hi-fi tuner reviews http://www.choice.com.au/reviews-and-tests/entertainment/Sound/Radios/digital-radio-tuners-review-and-compare.aspx

Digital radio tuners allow you to enjoy digital radio as it was meant to be enjoyed - through a good pair of speakers.

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SoundFri, 17 Feb 2012 09:49:00 GMT
102-107cm TV reviews http://www.choice.com.au/reviews-and-tests/entertainment/Visual/Plasma-LED-and-LCD-TVs/tv-lcd-and-plasma-102-107cm-review-compare.aspx

CHOICE puts the latest 102-107cm HD plasma and LCD televisions through their paces.

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VisualThu, 02 Feb 2012 14:53:00 GMT
81cm LCD TV reviews http://www.choice.com.au/reviews-and-tests/entertainment/Visual/Plasma-LED-and-LCD-TVs/tv-lcd-and-plasma-81cm-review-and-compare.aspx

Get unbiased test results for the latest 81cm LCD televisions, priced from $497 to $1399.

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VisualTue, 31 Jan 2012 11:12:00 GMT
FetchTV first look http://www.choice.com.au/reviews-and-tests/entertainment/Visual/Plasma-LED-and-LCD-TVs/fetchtv-first-look.aspx

FetchTV provides another alternative to cable, with your Internet provider delivering a host of channels and rental movies to your television.

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VisualWed, 26 Oct 2011 10:08:00 GMT
Netgear Push2TV first look http://www.choice.com.au/reviews-and-tests/entertainment/Visual/Plasma-LED-and-LCD-TVs/netgear-push2tv.aspx

Streaming high definition video from your laptop to your TV has never been this easy.

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VisualThu, 20 Oct 2011 15:36:00 GMT
Bose Videowave first look http://www.choice.com.au/reviews-and-tests/entertainment/Visual/Plasma-LED-and-LCD-TVs/bose-videowave.aspx

The Bose Videowave is indeed a great sounding TV, but the price for good audio and an easy to use system should not be so prohibitive.

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VisualThu, 08 Sep 2011 15:28:00 GMT
Home theatre speakers reviews http://www.choice.com.au/reviews-and-tests/entertainment/Sound/Home-theatre-systems/home-theatre-speakers.aspx

CHOICE reviews home theatre speakers valued from $2000 to $3000.

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SoundWed, 07 Sep 2011 17:18:00 GMT
Mini stereo system reviews http://www.choice.com.au/reviews-and-tests/entertainment/Sound/Home-theatre-systems/mini-stereos.aspx

CHOICE put a range of CD, DVD and Blu-ray stereo systems through their paces, ranging from $849 to $1900.

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SoundWed, 17 Aug 2011 15:35:00 GMT
Web TV grows up http://www.choice.com.au/reviews-and-tests/entertainment/Visual/Plasma-LED-and-LCD-TVs/web-tv-grows-up.aspx

More and more TV content is becoming available over the internet, both via browsers and direct to your TV with new hardware.

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VisualTue, 02 Aug 2011 11:46:00 GMT
Wireless headphones reviews http://www.choice.com.au/reviews-and-tests/entertainment/Sound/Headphones-and-earphones/wireless-headphones-review-and-compare.aspx

Wireless headphones mean any household members can listen to TV or music at the best possible sound level.

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SoundFri, 15 Apr 2011 16:29:00 GMT
Keeping fit with consoles http://www.choice.com.au/reviews-and-tests/entertainment/Visual/video-games/keeping-fit-with-consoles.aspx

We asked 17 people to try out a selection of fitness, party games and multi-player titles on three consoles.

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VisualThu, 14 Apr 2011 16:05:00 GMT
TV redemption promotions http://www.choice.com.au/reviews-and-tests/entertainment/Visual/Plasma-LED-and-LCD-TVs/tv-redemptions.aspx

With so many hoops to jump through, are the free goodies offered by redemption promotions really worth it?

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VisualThu, 07 Apr 2011 16:32:00 GMT
CHOICE Awards 2011: Best Television Brand http://www.choice.com.au/reviews-and-tests/entertainment/Visual/Plasma-LED-and-LCD-TVs/best-tv-brand.aspx

CHOICE has tested over 70 TVs over the last 12 months. The results and CHOICE member feedback have determined the best performing TV brand.

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VisualMon, 28 Mar 2011 10:54:00 GMT
Mini hifi with iPod dock reviews http://www.choice.com.au/reviews-and-tests/entertainment/Sound/Home-theatre-systems/mini-hifi-with-ipod-dock.aspx

Some of these mini and midi hi-fi systems punch well above their weight when it comes to sound quality.

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SoundThu, 17 Mar 2011 14:00:00 GMT
94cm LCD TVs review http://www.choice.com.au/reviews-and-tests/entertainment/Visual/Plasma-LED-and-LCD-TVs/tv-lcd-94cm-review-compare.aspx

The top peformers in this test deliver a quality picture - and prove that performance needn't come at a cost.

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VisualTue, 15 Mar 2011 11:07:00 GMT
TiVo vs T-Box http://www.choice.com.au/reviews-and-tests/entertainment/Visual/Set-top-boxes-and-PVRs/tivo-vs-tbox.aspx

See our video of these two popular contenders.

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VisualTue, 07 Dec 2010 11:32:00 GMT
Telstra T-Box first look http://www.choice.com.au/reviews-and-tests/entertainment/Visual/Set-top-boxes-and-PVRs/telstra-t-box.aspx

The Telstra T-Box is a DVR that integrates with Telstra's internet TV channels. You can also rent, download and watch box office movies.

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VisualMon, 06 Dec 2010 17:05:00 GMT
Game console reviews http://www.choice.com.au/reviews-and-tests/entertainment/Visual/video-games/game-consoles-review-and-compare.aspx

The new battle for the hearts, minds and wallets of Australia’s electronic game playing population has hit fever pitch.

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VisualMon, 15 Nov 2010 09:35:00 GMT
Set up your home theatre http://www.choice.com.au/reviews-and-tests/entertainment/Sound/Home-theatre-systems/set-up-your-home-theatre.aspx

Our expert reveals more of the mistakes that are made setting up home theatre systems.

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SoundWed, 25 Aug 2010 16:11:00 GMT
DVD and Blu-ray recorder reviews http://www.choice.com.au/reviews-and-tests/entertainment/Visual/CD-DVD-Blu-Ray-Players/dvd-bd-player-recorders-review-and-compare.aspx

Blu-ray technology increases a DVD recorder's quality and capacity, but not necessarily its convenience.

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VisualMon, 16 Aug 2010 11:33:00 GMT
Setting up a home theatre http://www.choice.com.au/reviews-and-tests/entertainment/Sound/Home-theatre-systems/setting-up-a-home-theatre.aspx

Our expert talks you through some of the more common mistakes you could make when setting up your home theatre.

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SoundFri, 06 Aug 2010 11:56:00 GMT
Micro hi-fi with digital radio player First Look http://www.choice.com.au/reviews-and-tests/entertainment/Sound/Radios/first-look-micro-hi-fi-with-digital-radio-player.aspx

This system from Sony offers digital radio at an affordable price – finally.

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SoundTue, 03 Aug 2010 15:44:00 GMT
LCD vs plasma TV buying guide http://www.choice.com.au/reviews-and-tests/entertainment/Visual/Plasma-LED-and-LCD-TVs/tv-lcd-vs-plasma-buying-guide.aspx

Plasma or LCD TV? Buying a TV in the 21st century is no mean feat. CHOICE suggests some things to consider before you buy.

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VisualTue, 27 Jul 2010 16:46:00 GMT
Digital rights - who owns your download? http://www.choice.com.au/reviews-and-tests/entertainment/Sound/Audio-accessories/digital-rights-who-owns-your-download.aspx

Copyright owners are using Digital Rights Management (DRM) to prevent copying and other uses of digital media they don't like. It's bad news for consumers, even honest ones.

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SoundThu, 22 Jul 2010 14:49:00 GMT
Base turntable First Look http://www.choice.com.au/reviews-and-tests/entertainment/Sound/Audio-accessories/first-look-base-turntable.aspx

This system can convert your old vinyl records to MP3 files. <br /> <br /> <br />

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SoundMon, 19 Jul 2010 14:41:00 GMT
HD set top boxes with USB connection http://www.choice.com.au/reviews-and-tests/entertainment/Visual/Set-top-boxes-and-PVRs/hdstb-with-usb-review-and-compare.aspx

These products may save you money, but you'll have to compromise on features and performance.

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VisualTue, 22 Jun 2010 11:11:00 GMT
EPG review http://www.choice.com.au/reviews-and-tests/entertainment/Visual/Plasma-LED-and-LCD-TVs/epg-review-and-compare.aspx

CHOICE explains why electronic program guides fall short of the mark.

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VisualSun, 02 May 2010 12:10:00 GMT
Digital/internet radio reviews http://www.choice.com.au/reviews-and-tests/entertainment/Sound/Radios/digital-and-internet-radio-review-and-compare.aspx

We test 10 digital radios, priced from $170 to $1000.

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SoundWed, 17 Mar 2010 10:09:00 GMT
Kogan set top box first look http://www.choice.com.au/reviews-and-tests/entertainment/Visual/Set-top-boxes-and-PVRs/kogan-stb.aspx

This set top box (STB) has a USB connection for an external hard drive that converts the STB into a digital video recorder.

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VisualTue, 16 Mar 2010 13:43:00 GMT
Samsung 3D TV quick review http://www.choice.com.au/reviews-and-tests/entertainment/Visual/Plasma-LED-and-LCD-TVs/3d-tv-quick-review.aspx

CHOICE gives its preliminary verdict on the new Samsung 3D TV, ahead of our full test of 3D models.

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VisualWed, 24 Feb 2010 01:00:00 GMT
Q Acoustics Q-TV2 first look http://www.choice.com.au/reviews-and-tests/entertainment/Sound/Audio-accessories/first-look-q-acoustics-q-tv2.aspx

This audio device attaches to the back of your TV and can fit 81cm-106cm screen sizes.

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SoundMon, 01 Feb 2010 15:02:00 GMT
Sony PlayTV First Look http://www.choice.com.au/reviews-and-tests/entertainment/Visual/Set-top-boxes-and-PVRs/sony-playtv.aspx

The Sony PlayTV struggles to provide an effective two-in-one games console and personal video recorder machine.

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VisualThu, 03 Dec 2009 12:24:00 GMT
DVD recorders with DVR review http://www.choice.com.au/reviews-and-tests/entertainment/Visual/CD-DVD-Blu-Ray-Players/dvd-recorders-review-and-compare.aspx

CHOICE looked at the latest selection of digital solutions that not only record TV programs to an internal hard drive, but also play DVDs and record to a DVD.

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VisualMon, 12 Oct 2009 14:50:00 GMT
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