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Ethanol-Free Fuel Stops en-route to Reivers Rally

A couple of us are riding up to the Reivers Rally from Cornwall & West Devon next week, the route being mainly M5 & M6, with maybe a run over Shap Fell on the A6, then eventually A7 to Melrose.

My question is, to tap into local knowledge, are there Esso fuel stations on, or close to, that route, where we can fill up with super-unleaded ethanol-free?

Many thanks

Ian

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I fear not. Actual ethanol free petrol appears to be confined to the South West. What is slightly terrifying is that the Government intends to make E10 (10% ethanol) petrol standard, with the current 95 octane E5 (5% ethanol) pump fuel the alternative only until 2020.

There is a consultation paper out and the FVHVC (or whatever it's called) has a survey out currently on the matter.

I tried to copy in the information, but this website does not let me cut and paste. Info is available on www.VMCC.net

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Gordon. My understanding has long been the reverse, that ethanol-free fuel is most definitely not available in the South-West, that rather undefined area where I live, but is in most other parts of the country, with some exceptions. I can certainly get it in Sussex, where I occasionally visit. To be specific, this is Esso Supreme + Super unleaded 97. It is supposed to be available in ethanol-free form in most areas except the South-West, Teeside area and Scotland, the latter being a bit unfortunate, as that is where the rally is being held! Still, it would be nice to enter Scotland, tank brimming with ethanol-free fuel, leaving on the fumes to top up with some good stuff before heading back down south.

All other makes of super unleaded, with the possible exception of BP, contain ethanol everywhere, as does all 95 ron.

Hence I was hoping for a list of fuel stations more-or-less en-route where we could fill up.

I will await more replies with optimism!Laughing

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My understanding is that Shell Super is ethanol-free. I just bought some, so I hope that is correct....

Paul

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Enjoy your ethanol free petrol while you can. Up here I have been using BP Ultimate with no problems. Once you get North of the central belt, patrol stations only offer petrol and diesel, so if you want to go anywhere scenic, your only option is 95 RON. Had to fill up with it on Sunday and the Altas still went OK.

I have never seen Esso Supreme Plus anywhere in Scotland.

If you see a particularly shabby Atlas at the rally, it'll be mine.

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Hi Ian,

Good to catch up again at Calstock on Saturday, Google "Essofuelfinder"

on the net, you can enter various postcodes(you may have to guess some

of these)& you can then find out the locations of all the UK Esso stations

&what fuel/facility each one offers.

Hope this helps.

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I think Norton twins had valve seats which tolerated ethanol after about 1960. I never put anything but ethanol fuel in any of my Nortons. Just fill up and ride.

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I recently had to replace all 9 (!) fuel hoses on my 23 year old Moto Guzzi California because ethanol had dissolved them. It is a solvent, which attacks various materials, as well as being an effective paint stripper. All this is well documented, so wherever I can avoid it, i will.

With the valve seats Tony, isn't that more to do with unleaded as opposed to leaded fuel, than ethanol?

Thanks for the tip, Jon, and good to see you and you Mercury on Saturday. Trouble with that website is, even though you tick the interest in Synergy Supreme + Superunleaded 97, none of the petrol stations I was directed to actually sell it! That is why I was hoping for input from those with local knowledge.

Ian

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Hi Ian,

Try www.esso.co.uk/synergy, this gives you every UK station that stocks Esso Synergy Supreme 97, it still requires a post code or town search.

Just tried a few randomtowns heading up the M5 & came up with stations

at, Taunton-TA1 3ES,Bristol BS1 5LJ, Cheltenham GL526HZ,Birmingham B4 7DT, you can locate stations north of here via town names or post code.

Each of the above states that they sell Esso Synergy Supreme 97.

Hope this helps.

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That link didn't work Jon, but, as I said, i entered Synergy into their search criteria, but if you street-view the fuel stations, the ones which came up that I looked at do not sell it.

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Hi Ian,

Try googling the synergy website & after you have typed in a town/post code, click view facilities & it will show what Synergy fuel that station carries. For instance I have just checked Queens garage close to us & they

don't stock it, the ones I mentioned previously do carry stocks.

Hope this helps,

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Hello Ian

In late 2016 I wrote to all of the petrol companies in the U.K. about ethanol. I had an interest having seen the fibreglass tank on my Commando disintegrate due to ethanol. The companies replied but only one was able to guarantee a fuel offering without ethanol.

The company was Esso and the product was Esso Synergy Supreme + Unleaded 97 but only in parts of the country. Here is their e-mail to me:

On 13 Sep 2016, at 09:55, Customer Care /SM <customer.care@exxonmobil.com> wrote:
Dear Rob,
Thank you for contacting Esso Customer Care.
The majority of unleaded 95 Octane petrol sold in the UK contains 5% ethanol as required under the Government's Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation (RTFO).
There is currently no requirement for renewable fuel (such as ethanol) to be present in super unleaded (97 grade petrol).
Esso super unleaded petrol (Synergy Supreme+ Unleaded 97) is ethanol free (except in Devon, Cornwall, the Teesside area and Scotland) and we have no current intention to add ethanol to Synergy Supreme+ in other areas of the UK.
We would therefore advise anyone who has concerns about the presence of ethanol in petrol to use Synergy Supreme+ - providing they do not fill up in Devon or Cornwall, the Teesside area or Scotland.
Kind Regards,
Kristof Gergye
End Consumer & Customer Care Assistant
Customer Service, Fuels & Lubricants, EAME
Office:+442071361798
Fax:+442070264728
customer.care@exxonmobil.com
ExxonMobil Business Support Center
I live in Chester but ride my bike far and wide. To find Esso Synergy Supreme + Unleaded 97, I use the Esso app on my iPhone. This is found in the AppStore.
Go to Search in the App Store, put in Esso, select the mobile phone symbol showing âWelcome to the new way to fuelâ, find your way to âFuel Finderâ which will show a map of GB with the locations of all Esso stations, scroll to âService and Facilitiesâ and here you will see listed for each individual station what it has to offer, from coffee, toilets etc. through to types of fuel.
From experience, if a particular station doesnât specifically list Synergy Supreme + Unleaded 97, it wonât have it. So you need to plan ahead as to your fuel stops.
The last two years I have ridden to the workersâ version* of the Reivers Rally, to camp in Town Yetholm in Roxburghshire (Scottish Borders) and the app has served me well - ethanol-free all the way and back by a different route. Iâll be doing so again in a few weeks time. Likewise riding over to catch the ferry in Hull or down south.
* just joking, I once stayed in an hotel myself
You may have to faff around a bit with the app but it does work and you can generally avoid ethanol for your Norton where Esso offers Synergy Supreme + Unleaded 97.
Best of luck
Robin
Robin Robb

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Gents, thanks for the advice on tracking Esso sans ethanol!

Robin, your letter shows a clearer definition in my area, as being not available in Cornwall or Devon. In the past it has been described as not available in the South-West, which could cover a larger area. There has never to my knowledge been an explanation forthcoming as to why in some areas the Esso Synergy is not ethanol-free, given that apparently it is added to the tankers as they are about to leave the refinery. I wonder how they guarantee it is completely mixed?

I am not very good with apps, but with the aid of the Esso site-finder and Google maps on my lap top, I should be ok.

Of course, time changes things, and that letter was nearly 2 years ago. The document posted by David highlights that, in that the tone of it indicates the Government wants to introduce E10 quite soon. Annoyingly they refer to E5 as 'traditional fuel'! They are talking of an ensured supply of E5 for older vehicles, at least until 2020! That is 16 months away.

It is not looking good....

Ian

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Having persevered with the Esso site-finder, I have found 3 well-placed fuel stops on the way, which will work nicely on the way back, too. Only one has 1 1/2 mile detour, the others are pretty-well on the route.

Thanks for all suggestions!

Ian

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Hello Ian

Glad you found the ethanol-free pumps!

By way of update I have been back in touch with Esso and their reply (28 Aug 2018) is below. You'll see that availability of Esso super unleaded petrol (Synergy Supreme+ Unleaded 97) remains unchanged as per their e-mail.

Robin

Customer Care /SM customer.care@exxonmobil.com

Esso- 38071 Enquiry

To: robin robbjrobinrobb@yahoo.co.uk 28thAugust 2018

Dear Mr. Robb,

I can confirm that the below information regarding the Synergy Supreme+ being ethanol free is still accurate.

Esso super unleaded petrol (Synergy Supreme+ Unleaded 97) is ethanol free (except in Devon, Cornwall, the Teesside area and Scotland) and we have no current intention to add ethanol to Synergy Supreme+ in other areas of the UK.

With kind regards,

Eszter B. Kovacs

End Consumer & Customer Care Specialist

Customer Service, Fuels & Lubricants, EAME

Office: +442071361798

Fax: +442070264728

customer.care@exxonmobil.com

On 13 Sep 2016, at 09:55, Customer Care /SM <customer.care@exxonmobil.com> wrote:

Dear Rob,

Thank you for contacting Esso Customer Care.

The majority of unleaded 95 Octane petrol sold in the UK contains 5% ethanol as required under the Government's Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation (RTFO).

There is currently no requirement for renewable fuel (such as ethanol) to be present in super unleaded (97 grade petrol).

Esso super unleaded petrol (Synergy Supreme+ Unleaded 97) is ethanol free (except in Devon, Cornwall, the Teesside area and Scotland) and we have no current intention to add ethanol to Synergy Supreme+ in other areas of the UK.

We would therefore advise anyone who has concerns about the presence of ethanol in petrol to use Synergy Supreme+ - providing they do not fill up in Devon or Cornwall, the Teesside area or Scotland.

Kind Regards,

Kristof Gergye

End Consumer & Customer Care Assistant

Customer Service, Fuels & Lubricants, EAME

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That is excellent news Robin, we can all take heart from that. Well, except those of us who live in Cornwall, or Devon, Teeside or Scotland of course!

However, in the light of the current E10 consultation document, which will no doubt be implemented soon; which by the way even had a piece on BBC1 breakfast show this morning; it is good to know that Esso at least appear to be prepared to meet their bio-fuel requirements in the other grades.

Unfortunately my bike broke down yesterday, with what appears to be an electrical fault which will take time to trace, source parts for and fix; so I won't now be going.... Gutted, or what?

Ian

 

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