EU renames fuels and changes labels at filling stations
From the 12th of October, fuels for vehicles will have other names: diesel becomes B7, petrol E5 (98 octane) or E10 (95 octane) all over the European Union.
The reason is clear: travellers all over the union can immediately detect what sort of fuel they’re having. “The EU is persuaded that this will lead to less confusion when the names are the same throughout Europe”, says Chantal De Pauw from the federal government service on economy (FOD Economie).
The yellow and green labels used until now, will disappear. Instead the labels will be white, with black lettering. Petrol labels will be round, diesel labels rectangular, LPG (Liquified Petroleum Gas) will be diamond-shaped.
The new labels will be used in new vehicles (filling cap, instruction manual), at the car dealers and in service stations (on the pump itself and on the filling pistol).
To avoid initial confusion, the Belgian federation of fuel traders, Brafco, insists that the words diesel or petrol will not disappear immediately. “Certainly in the beginning service stations will keep the diesel/petrol names at the filling pumps”, says Johan Mattart of Brafco.
Mobility club, VAB, is not so sure there won’t be initial confusion. “People will be confused at the beginning”, says Maarten Matienko of VAB, “and where there’s room for confusion, there’s a chance to make mistakes.” VAB pleads to keep the old names in parallel for a certain period of time.
Especially diesel users can have problems. Normally you can’t fill a petrol tank with diesel, the nozzle of diesel is too big to fit in the petrol filling hole, but the opposite (petrol in diesel tank) is very feasible. “A diesel user who fills his tank with petrol can seriously damage the engine”, adds Matienko. “People who have detected their mistake are advised not to start the engine. It can cost thousands of euros.
According to Chantal De Pauw of the FOD Economie, people will get the time to get used to the new labels. “We will have an important information campaign online and both naming systems will be used in parallel for a certain time.”
According to Brafco, there are chances that not all service stations will have the new labels on time, because they have to ask for them themselves. Brafco is also concerned about the price: the Belgian Bureau for Normalisation has a practical monopoly on delivering them and is asking a hefty 3 euro per single label.