In Australia, petrol types consist of standard unleaded (91), premium unleaded (95 and 98), E10, E85, and diesel, each with distinct octane ratings and ethanol blends, catering to different vehicle needs and environmental considerations.
Types of Petrol in Australia
In the realm of fuel types, the digits – 91, 95, and 98 – hold the key. These numbers signify the octane ratings, determining a fuel’s propensity to ignite prematurely within a car’s engine.
Standard petrol, boasting a rating of 91, shares the stage with premium unleaded fuels of both 95 and 98 octanes.
In addition, ethanol-based alternatives like E10 and E85 offer environmentally conscious options, blended with corn or sugarcane ethanol for a greener fuel choice.
Mismatching fuel types with your car’s specifications could spell trouble, from diminished fuel efficiency to potentially catastrophic engine knocking.
Understanding these distinctions becomes crucial in navigating the fuel landscape and its potential cost-saving benefits.
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Unveiling Petrol Varieties in Australia
Standard Unleaded Petrol (91)
A ubiquitous choice across Australian petrol stations, Unleaded 91 petrol serves as the staple fuel option.
While most vehicles can operate on this fuel, some may find enhanced fuel efficiency and performance with more premium variants, depending on the vehicle model.
In August 2023, the average price for ULP 91 stood at 224 cents per liter in Sydney.
Premium 95-Octane Unleaded
Designed to optimize fuel efficiency and engine operation, Premium Unleaded 95 petrol (PULP 95) offers a smoother engine performance.
While primarily suited for imported or high-performance vehicles, some smaller-capacity turbo cars and motorcycles may also require this higher-octane fuel.
RACQ recorded PULP 95 prices at around 238 cents per liter in Sydney.
Premium 98-Octane Unleaded
Recognized as Ultra Premium Unleaded Petrol (UPULP), this 98-octane fuel boasts heightened engine power, improved performance, and reduced pollution levels.
Primarily recommended for performance vehicles, certain models mandate the use of 98-octane fuel exclusively.
At the time of writing, UPULP 98 in Brisbane averaged $2.46 according to FuelWatch.io.
E10 – Ethanol Blend (94-Octane)
Comprising 10% ethanol and 90% unleaded petrol, E10 offers a higher octane rating of 94.
While supporting Australian sugarcane or corn industries, this blend may result in a slightly decreased fuel economy due to ethanol’s lower energy density.
National average prices for E10 hovered just a few cents cheaper than 91 at $2.22. Determining its value relies on assessing potential fuel economy trade-offs.
E85 – Flex-Fuel
With an 85% ethanol and 15% regular petrol composition, E85 stands as a favorite for performance enthusiasts and Supercar aficionados.
Not all vehicles are compatible, and while offering performance benefits and environmental friendliness, its availability and marginally higher price might limit its appeal to specific use cases.
A distinct fuel type in its own right, diesel boasts higher energy density and a higher boiling point than petrol.
While historically favored for efficiency and torque, shifts in consumer preferences towards petrol turbo engines and electric vehicles have affected diesel’s popularity.
Fuelwatch.io cited diesel prices at 215 cents per liter and ‘premium’ diesel at 216 cents per liter.
Premium Diesel vs. Regular Diesel
The emergence of ‘premium’ diesel often signifies a marketing ploy with minimal tangible differences from regular diesel.
Additives in ‘premium’ diesel, such as cleaning agents or rust inhibitors, might marginally impact vehicle efficiency, making it more of an optional choice than a necessity.
Understanding these petrol nuances helps decipher the intricate choices at the pump, ensuring informed decisions aligned with both vehicle requirements and potential cost considerations.