In April, France will start selling ethanol blended at a 10 percent ratio into unleaded gasoline (aka, E10). This is two years in advance of when the European mandatory biofuel blends come into effect. France might need the extra time, since it is not looking like it will be an easy transition. For one thing, big oil companies started to complain. First, French giant Total stated that the distribution of E10 was too expensive, but they will still offer it at 4,000 pumps before the end of the year. Carrefour, one of the largest French supermarkets, has only confirmed that 24 of its 1,200 pumps will offer E10. The French government's response was to restate its desire to have 75 percent of gas stations in the country have at least one E10 pump, and threatening fines for companies that don't install pumps.

In France, E10 is subject to the same taxation rate as Unleaded 95. However, the French government subsidizes the difference between the cost of gasoline and ethanol with a tax break of €210/m3 for ethanol. This results in a tiny, 1-cent-per liter difference in the price at the pump. At least all gasoline cars sold in Europe since 2000 have been E10 compatible.

[Source: Le Blog Auto]

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