MILLIONS of motorists stand to pay more at the petrol pump thanks to the state government’s decision to phase out regular unleaded fuel.It is mandating the use of E10, a blend of 90 per cent petrol and 10 per cent ethanol, as part of its commitment to promote renewable biofuels.This is despite E10 being proved to be less efficient than regular unleaded. Although ethanol has a higher octane rating, it holds less energy than petrol.That means anyone using E10 could use up to 3 per cent more fuel than normal premium unleaded petrol.Besides, all cars built before 1986 are incompatible with E10; owners of those cars will have to use premium unleaded fuel with a 95 or higher octane rating.That will affect about 100,000 motorists when unleaded petrol disappears.The government has defended the decision, saying it is a necessary response to shrinking oil supplies. “Acting now to develop our local biofuels industry will help to make sure that we have affordable fuel supplies available in the future for all motorists,” a spokesman for the Minister for Lands and Infrastructure, Tony Kelly, said.The NRMA safety expert Jack Haley said the organisation wanted to see the same strategy implemented across Australia.”We support biofuels generally because they reduce our dependency on foreign oil,” Mr Haley said.Octane ratings determine the grade of fuel and how efficiently it burns.But with 91, 95 and 98 octane fuel on the market besides E10, it is confusing for many motorists. Experts say the difference between 91, 95 and 98 octane-rated fuel is about a 1 per cent improvement in power and fuel efficiency per octane rating.E10 now has an unofficial octane rating of about 94 because fuel companies simply add ethanol to 91 unleaded.Mr Haley warned against using the higher-quality fuel if a car is not calibrated for it.”There are very few vehicles around that are designed for 98 octane,” he said.The government said it was considering an awareness campaign before next year’s fuel switch.
Nanjing Night Net