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Emma Balaam
Secretary, Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs Ltd.
PO Box 295
RM14 9DG
Tel: 01708 223111
Email: secretary@fbhvc.co.uk



23 March 2020                                                                                                                              For immediate release
Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs updated statement on Drive it Day 2020
The FBHVC is committed to following the latest UK Government advice on events and public gatherings pertinent to our member clubs and as such, the following statement replaces all previous correspondence regarding National Drive it Day during this fast-moving situation.
In response to the updated guidance and restrictions issued by UK Government, the Federation recommends that all activities that involve taking a historic vehicle out on the road specifically for the purposes of Drive it Day, now be abandoned.  All enthusiasts are now urged to stay at home on 26 April 2020 and not partake in any non-essential travel for Drive it Day and instead, get involved in a nationwide social media campaign to spread positivity around historic vehicles during this difficult time.
Currently, UK government are advising against all non-essential social contact. Our current general guidance to car clubs, that can be found on our website www.fbhvc.co.uk , encourages the cancellation or postponement of meets, events and gatherings of people. Additional advice has now placed restrictions on non-essential travel of any kind.
However, enthusiasts of historic vehicles are still encouraged to participate on 26 April 2020 in the mass sharing, via social media, of images and memories of themselves and their families out and about in their historic vehicles during a previous year’s Drive it Day.
Use your chosen social media platform to share images and stories of memorable trips with your historic vehicles or indeed, what you might be working on within the ‘self – isolation’ of your garage or shed.
The FBHVC are asking for all enthusiasts to share pictures using the hashtag #DriveitDayMemories.
Post your picture on to the FBHVC social media feeds or those of your member clubs. We will be monitoring those social feeds and public posts published with the #DriveitDayMemories hashtag will be gathered onto a special area within the FBHVC website galleries in the future.
As previously stated, with such a crowded event calendar, the possibility of achieving consensus for a revised Drive it Day date later in the year will be virtually impossible. Therefore, Drive it Day 2020 will not be re-scheduled for later this year, but will resume its normal format on 25 April 2021.
 For the latest advice for car clubs, events and other news – keep up to date via the Federation news pages at www.fbhvc.co.uk




Fuel From September 2019 petrol stations will be adding labels showing the level of Ethanol and Biodiesel. Blending biofuels into regular petrol and diesel reduces CO2 emissions, helping us to meet climate change commitments. Petrol, which contains up to 5% renewable ethanol, will be labelled ‘E5’, while diesel, which contains up to 7% biodiesel, will be labelled as ‘B7’ . The important point to note is that the level of Ethanol has not changed, it is just the addition of a label.




Introduction of E10 Fuel

I come lastly to a matter which is of very great importance to some at least of our members, and is of long-term significance to us all, as it bears upon the very ability to use our vehicles in the future. Many members will have been aware that the Federation was responding to a Department for Transport (DfT) Consultation on the subject, but a short explanation is probably useful to explain some of the confusion which we know has arisen.

There has for some time been a requirement, as a climate change control measure, contained in the EU Renewable Fuel Transport Obligation (RTFO) scheme. This mandates that given percentages of transport fuels must come from non fossilfuel sources. While of course continued compliance with this requirement will be dependent on the outcome of Brexit, it is unlikely that the attitude of the UK Government to the justification of the principles of the RTFO will be altering any time soon. Non fossil-fuel sources means bio-fuels, which in the case of petrol driven vehicles is ethanol. The feedstocks for these fuels are varied but in the UK are mainly wheat. A significant industry has built up to support this requirement.

There are defined standards for petrol with given percentages of ethanol, primarily E5 (no more than 5% ethanol) and E10 (not more than 10% ethanol). To date no supplier in the UK has offered E10 at the pumps, though it is quite common across the Channel. The Government has recently increased the RTFO targets and is now putting pressure on the fuel supply industry to make E10 fuel available at the pumps at least on larger forecourts. The vast majority of modern vehicles have been designed to run on this fuel with no problems. Most of our vehicles, not having been designed to deal with the properties of ethanol in fuels systems and engines, are adversely affected by ethanol in petrol, and the adverse effects are greater the higher the percentage of ethanol the petrol contains. Up till now, no fuel supplier has offered in the UK a petrol which exceeds a percentage of 5% ethanol, known as E5.

Quite separately, a number of our members have vehicles which can only run on petrol with a higher octane rating than the standard grade (defined as 95RON [Research Octane Number]). This need has been met by the use of what DfT refers to as the Super grade of petrol (as we know the description varies brand by brand). These fuels are defined as 97RON and have actual octane ratings between 97 and 99. These fuels also meet the E5 standard, and indeed some contain less than 5% ethanol. From the introduction of E5 fuel until the end of 2016 there was a ‘protection grade’ which had to be supplied, which could not exceed 5% ethanol. But it was also set at 97RON. This position basically supported all of our members, including those with higher compression/performance engines.

In its recent Consultation, DfT makes clear it actively wishes the introduction of E10 fuel on at least the larger forecourts. DfT does recognise that this will require a re-introduction of a protection grade. However, it wishes that grade to be set at 95RON and E5. DfT is making this recommendation primarily to protect the owners of simply incompatible old vehicles, which it defines as being over 25 years old, which are generally in use, i.e. not being preserved. It wishes to protect these owners, who it perceives as being poorer, from having to pay for a high octane fuel their vehicles do not require.

The DfT is also proposing this protection grade only lasts for two years, which the Federation believes if too short to be of any use at all. The view of the Federation is that the constraints on tankage and petrol pumps will mean that the availability of the current Super grade may well be lost, which could make some of our members’ vehicles unusable. Therefore, the Federation, while not opposing the introduction of E10 fuel as such, is arguing strongly for the protection grade to be, as before, the 97RON E5 grade. We are also arguing that the period for the protection grade continuation should be five, not two years. I will of course revert to this issue as it develops.