Chris Grundler: “For us to intervene and establish fuel standards, we have to show that there is no profit or air quality that, absent regulations, which somehow is inhibiting post-treatment or other vehicle parts. And the benefits outweigh the costs.”Increased octane in gasoline – seen as a way to improve fuel economy and reduce emissions in high technology today day turbocharged, direct injection engines looks like it will get some attention from the EPA

Octane premium gasoline will probably not be available until the next set of standards for fuel economy and emissions take effect after 2025. discussions on how high octane are still likely to raise a few years off. But the pressure is starting to gain traction.

Dan Nicholson, vice president of systems of global propulsion of General Motors, told me recently that could boost fuel economy in most engines 5 percent if the United States had the same higher octane gasoline Europe. Nicholson raised the issue at industry events like their counterparts at Ford, Chrysler and other automakers Fiat.

Octane, it will be recalled, is a measure of the amount of fuel compression can withstand before it is turned on. High compression engines offer more power, but they need high-octane fuel.



In Germany, for example, regular gasoline is usually 95 octane, while the premium is 100, based on the RON (research octane number) scale. The US gasoline octane is calculated differently and is the average of RON and MON (motor octane number). In general, US fuel grades are 4 to 6 degrees below comparable European gasoline octane.

Automakers here want higher octane so they can increase the compression ratio of the engine and continue to increase energy production. Increased production allows engineers to further reduce the size of the engine, which also reduces the weight of the vehicle. Ford Eco Boost engines, particularly those used in the F-150 pickup truck show what is possible. Its new generation of 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 has more power than many of the older big block V-8 Ford.

When it comes octane, EPA hear automakers, refiners, the ethanol industry, environmental groups, consumers and others -. None of whom want their business models and lives are affected.