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Claims that environmentally friendly petrol would give same climate benefits as 100,000 electric vehicles

Changing to a more environmentally friendly petrol would save motorists around 30 cent on the cost of filling up.

Energy experts are calling on the Government to speed up the switch to petrol with a higher concentration of ethanol.

Energy experts claim increasing the concentration of ethanol in fuel from the current 5% to 10% could deliver the same benefits to the climate as 100,000 electric vehicles.

Changing from E5 to E10 fuel is a 2030 target of the Government's Climate Action Plan.

The Bioenergy for Climate Action in Transport conference today heard claims that the switch could be made overnight and at no cost to the State.

Economist Jim Power said the move to electric cars will not happen fast enough to reduce emissions in line with Ireland's targets, and changing fuels is the way forward.

Mr Power said: "Why the Government is not prepared to make the jump from E5 to E10 very quickly, why they are waiting until 2030, I just do not understand."

James Cogan from Ethanol Europe said fuel with a higher concentration of ethanol is just as effective, but cheaper for motorists.

Mr Cogan said: "There is no fossil carbon in ethanol so if we reduce the amount of fossil energy in our fuel tanks we are reducing the amount of carbon tax that we have to pay on it."