Lexus explains: What is E10 petrol and can I use it?

As part of the government’s strategy to reduce harmful emissions from transport, the new E10 petrol grade will be introduced across the United Kingdom from September 2021.

While it retains the same 95-octane rating as existing unleaded petrol it will contain a much higher proportion of ethanol. Currently, all petrol supplied at filling stations contains a five percent mix of ethanol, which is why it is known as E5. However, from September 2021, that proportion will be doubled in standard grade petrol and the fuel will be identified by the code E10.

This change will not affect Lexus owners with a diesel-powered vehicle.

E10 petrol

Why is the ethanol content being increased?

Ethanol is a renewable, non-fossil biofuel produced from sustainable sources. It is made using by-products from the farming industry, such as those from wheat, corn and sugar crops.

By increasing the proportion of biofuel in petrol, the content of fossil fuel and therefore our reliance on it decreases. This will reduce the overall levels of CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions from vehicles and help the government achieve its climate change targets. It has been calculated that this change from E5 to E10 will cut harmful transport emissions by 750,000 tonnes a year – the equivalent of taking 350,000 cars off the road.

Why isn’t the ethanol content much higher?

The composition of ethanol is different to that of a crude oil based fossil fuel such as petrol. Higher blends of ethanol can cause corrosion of some rubbers and alloys used in the engine and fuel systems of some older vehicles.

A small number of these vehicles will need to continue using E5 petrol, and this will remain widely available at filling stations in super unleaded grade.

Is this change only happening in the UK?

No. In fact, E10 petrol is already common throughout the world. It has also been the reference fuel used for all new car emissions and performance testing since 2016.

E10 petrol

Which Lexus models can use E10 petrol?

The good news is that the vast majority of Lexus models with a petrol engine or hybrid powertrain and that were officially supplied within the European market since January 1998 are compatible with E10 petrol. The only exceptions to this rule are the following models:

  • Lexus IS 250 with 2.5-litre V6 4GR-FSE engine made between August 2005 and September 2007
  • Lexus GS 300 with 3.0-litre V6 3GR-FSE engine made between January 2005 and September 2007
  • Lexus LS 460 with 4.6-litre V8 1UR-FSE engine made between August 2006 and September 2007

E10 petrol

How can I check if my Lexus can use E10 petrol?

All new Lexus models manufactured since 2011 and equipped with a petrol engine or hybrid powertrain are compatible with E10 fuel. This can be confirmed by checking the owner’s manual or looking at the information printed on the inside of the fuel filler flap. If you are still unsure, use E5 petrol, which will continue to be dispensed from the super unleaded pump at most filling stations.

14 comments

  1. What is it that stops the 4GR-FSE engine using e10?
    Are there any modifications that could make it compatible.?
    Given we will have to use e10 occassionally, how big a problem is it?

    Whilst I currently try to use the premium fuels anyway, availability is scarce in some places so these answers matter.

    1. Hello Jeremy,
      Thank you for your comment.
      Although your vehicle may be able to run on E10 fuel, over longer periods the higher blends of ethanol can cause corrosion of some rubbers and alloys used in the engine and fuel systems.
      We are unable to advise on vehicle modifications that take the vehicle away from manufacturer’s specifications.
      As far as we are aware, whilst you will still be able to purchase E5 fuel for some time, availability may vary based on your location.
      Thanks.

  2. Are there plans for an addidtive to be made available for those engines that can not take e10 fuel?

    1. Hi David,

      Sorry, we have no information on that. E5 fuel will continue to be available, it just won’t be as common as it is today.

      Thanks

    1. Hello Albert,
      Thank you for your comment.
      The fuel you should be using will be detailed either in your vehicle owner’s manual or inside the fuel filler flap.
      Thanks.

    1. Hello Remy,
      Thank you for contacting us.
      The fuel you should be using will be detailed either in your vehicle owner’s manual or inside the fuel filler flap.
      Thanks.

    1. Hi Barbara,

      The only IS that cannot use E10 fuel is the IS 250 with 2.5-litre V6 4GR-FSE engine made between August 2005 and September 2007.

      If you provide your reg, we can check whether your vehicle is one of these.

      Thanks

        1. Unfortunately your vehicle is not designed to run on E10 fuel. E5 fuel should still be available at petrol stations though, just not as the main fuel. Thanks.

  3. Evening, I have a 2008 Lexus ISF and the handbook or fuel filler flap mentions “Unleaded Fuel Only” with the handbook stating RON 95 or higher only. This does not help me in determinig whether I can run this engine safely on E10 fuel. Please can you advise?

    1. Hi Craig, thanks for your comment.

      Your vehicle should be cleared for E10 petrol, unless it is the 2.5 litre V6 with engine 4GR-FSE.

      What is your registration number please?

      Thanks

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