Refueling in Europe: EU Fuel Labelling

Since 12 October 2018, all European petrol stations must use a uniform fuel-labelling system in order to aid foreign visitors who must refuel. While France has already introduced the new names, Germany has not. 

Update : Oct 2019

The uniform fuel labels apply in all EU-countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, and Turkey. The new labels will be on the pumps and nozzles, as well as the petrol cap covers on new vehicles. The goal is for the choice of fuels to be clear to all European drivers, and therefore to avoid errors.      

Which fuel will I use?

If you usually use Super95 in France, you will be switching to E5. Super E10 is becoming E10. If you need Diesel, you will use either B7 or B10, depending on your vehicle. Liquefied petroleum gas will be LPG, and natural gas will be CNG.

  • Gasoline-type fuels will be indicated with a circle. E stands for ethanol, and the number stands for the percentage. E10 is thus 10% ethanol.
  • Diesel-type fuels will be indicated with squares. B stands for biodiesel and the number stands for the percentage. B7 is thus 7% biodiesel. XTL is the abbreviation for synthetic diesel.
  • Gaseous-type fuels will be indicated with diamonds. CNG is natural gas, H2 is hydrogen, LNG is liquefied natural gas, and LPG is liquefied petroleum gas.

You can find more information in the European Commission's FAQ.              

Already implemented in some EU states, but not yet in Germany

While countries such as France, Austria, Finland, Ireland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, and Spain have already implemented the new fuel labels, Germany is delaying until at least 2019. Switzerland will also maintain the current labelling system and will decide later whether to implement Norm EN 16942. The following graphic (click to download) gives an overview of the German, French and European fuel labels.

The following table shows what each of the fuels contain and which engines they work with.                          

EU Label French Label German Label What is it?
E5 Sans plomb (SP95) Super 95 unleaded, sulphur-free petrol
octane rating 95
contains a maximum of 5% ethanol
suitable for petrol engines
E5 Sans plomb 98 (SP98) Super Plus 98 unleaded, sulphur-free petrol
octane rating 98
contains a maximum of 5% ethanol
suitable for petrol engines
E10 Sans plom 95 - E10 (SP95-E10) Super E10 unleaded, sulphur-free petrol
octane rating 95
contains a maximum of 10% ethanol
suitable for petrol engines
E85 Superéthanol Superethanol contains a maximum of 85% ethanol and 15% petrol
octane rating 107
suitable in engines refitted for Superethanol and for Superethanol-compatible petrol engines
B7 Gazole Diesel sulphur-free diesel fuel
contains a maximum of 7% biodiesel
suitable for diesel engines
B10 Gazole B10 Bio-Diesel sulphur-free diesel fuel
contains a maximum of 10% biodiesel
suitable for diesel engines
XTL Gazole Paraffinique XTL-Diesel X-to-Liquid Fuel
Depending on the type, many base materials, such as biomass or natural gas (denoted by X), can be used for the manufacture of liquid fuel
suitable for adapted gas and diesel engines
H2 Hydrogène Wasserstoff usually obtained from natural gas
suitable for hydrogen combustion engines or fuel cells
CNG Gaz naturel comprimé (GNC) Erdgas Compressed Natural Gas
comprised primarily of methane suitable for CNG motors
LNG Gaz naturel liquéfié (GNL) Flüssigerdgas Liquefied Natural Gas (cooled to 163 ° C)
suitable for ships and certain trucks
LPG Gaz de pétrol liquéfié (GPL-c) Autogas Liquefied Petroleum Gas
comprised of propane and butane
octane rating 105 to 115 (depending on the mixture)
suitable for LPG engines and refitted petrol engines
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