Panel Discusses Increasing Minimum Octane

Panel Discusses Increasing Minimum Octane

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.

gas-graphBut 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]

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  • craigcole

    Higher octane is great but it’s of zero value if your car doesn’t have the compression ratio to take advantage of it.

  • Red Raspberry

    Probably just another push to get E15 in the system.

  • smartacus

    I believe you are absolutely correct.
    My first reaction when I saw “ethanol trade group” in the sentence was WTF are they doing there?

  • smartacus

    This has nothing to do with 94 octane being adopted by more stations than just Sunoco; this has everything to do with limiting octane choices to 89 and up.

  • smartacus

    …at the expense of a higher concentrations of ethanol going in our fuel systems

  • DoubleCoppers

    An increase in compression ratio isn’t going to work too well for the auto makers who are using turbo-charging. This definitely stinks of ethanol.