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Fuel labelling: information to help you choose the right fuel

Fuel identifiers have been placed on new vehicles and fuel pumps since 2018; this year labels will also be placed on charging stations and on all newly-produced electric vehicles.

A European directive* requires European Union member states and European Economic Area states to improve the information given to consumers who are faced with a choice of fuels for their vehicle. To that end, a CEN standard** has drawn up common symbols, or ‘fuel identifiers’, that will be placed on new vehicles and fuel pumps. These identifiers have to be in place since October 2018.

When customers arrive at a filling station and open the fuel-filler cap on their vehicle, a common fuel identifier will be visible on both the vehicle and the pump, providing guidance on the fuel that is compatible for use with their vehicle.

A set of labels for electric vehicles and charging stations will start to be used throughout Europe as of 20 March 2021, in line with the requirements of the EU Directive*. As well as appearing on charging stations, the labels will be placed on all newly-produced electric mopeds, motorcycles, tricycles and quadricycles cars, as well as on vans, trucks, buses, coaches, in a clear and visible manner. The aim is to help consumers identify the right recharging option for their battery electric and plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles by harmonising labelling across the entire EU.

In order to assist consumers to understand these new labels, a coalition of vehicle manufacturers, fuel refiners and fuel suppliers have published informative brochures. These brochures, in Q&A format, explain the purpose of the identifiers and fuel labels, their design and in which vehicles they will appear. You can find information of fuel labelling (in your own language) at

Motorcycles & E10 fuel
The European Fuel Quality Directive*** introduced a new market petrol across the European Union from January 2011 that may contain up to 10% (by volume) ethanol (E10). On the ACEM website you can find a list of motorcycle brands and types and their compatibility with E10 fuel. When in doubt check your user manual or contact your dealer. Ethanol blends above 10% can damage the painting of the fuel tank, damage the rubber fuel lines, cause corrosion of fuel lines and cause poor drivability.

* EU Directive 2014/94/EU on the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure
** EN16942, Fuels – Identification of vehicle compatibility – Graphical expression for consumer information.
*** Directive 2009/30/EC

Source: ACEM