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Citing fuel-economy benefits, automakers push for 95 octane gas


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Audi brings Traffic Light Info system to Washington DCTouting lower greenhouse gas emissions and higher fuel economy, Detroit's automakers want the U.S. to boost its octane. GM, Ford, and FCA are working with the U.S. Council for Automotive Research on a plan to switch from the three octane choices at most pumps to just one: 95 octane. Such a move would put the U.S. in line with Europe. Automotive...

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Oh oh, this could be a double edged sword.

95 octane gas would allow automakers to produce higher compression engines and therefore produce more torque and horsepower. Yeah for that point. However, assuming for the moment that the cost of 95 octane comes down close to the price of 87 octane, increasing the amount of ethanol in the fuel is one of the ways to boast the octane rating. 

Increasing ethanol in modern fuel presents issues with all the current vehicles on the road that are not designed to use anything beyond E5 fuel, including our classic cars. So E10, E15 or higher fuels could be a real possibility, which will present problems that GM, Ford, BMW, and others have documented to the federal government when the EPA proposed E10 fuel. 

Now there are other ways to chemically boast the octane without using ethanol. The question will be what will be the cost going that route? Don't know - its way too soon to tell. However, boasting ethanol to do it has consequences to us all.

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