Government mandated increases in fuel efficiency could wind up costing you more at the pump, even if your car burns less.
Representatives from General Motors, Ford, Chevron Technology Group and an ethanol trade group said during a panel discussion that increasing the minimum octane would bring better fuel economy by between 3 and 6 percent while reducing CO2 emissions by about 2 percent. Automakers are still working toward meeting corporate average fuel economy of 54.5 MPG by the 2025 model year. Boosting octane a quick way for them to do so because it would allow them to do so by increasing the compression ratio in their engines, increasing thermal efficiency.
But premium fuel is more expensive than regular gasoline, which detonates more easily under compression. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average difference between the price for a gallon of regular grade and premium gasoline on April 20 was 35 cents.
Depending on hoe greatly automakers chose to increase compression ratios, the efficiency gains could be even more significant. FEV Inc passenger car and light-duty engine boss Dean Tomazic said increasing compression ratios from 8:1 to 12:1 could yield up to a 10 percent improvement in fuel economy.
[Source: Automotive News]