Should United States gasoline octane standards be updated to match those in Europe, fuel efficiency could see a significant improvement, along with increases in engine power.
Ward’s Auto reports the Detroit Three powertrain bosses laid-out their case for increasing octane ratings before attendees at this year’s SAE World Congress. In short, by matching ratings with those in Europe — where the highest rating is 95+ — engineers could build engines for higher compression, leading to increases in fuel efficiency and power instead of the losses in both found in engines made for the U.S. market, where the highest rating available is 91.
The idea has precedent, as diesel fuel was brought in line with European standards seven years ago, with improvements to both engines and emissions as a result.
Though the Detroit Three bosses brought the issue up with the Department of Energy and various power players within the Beltway, only now have they brought it before the public, as Ford chief Bob Fascetti explains:
I can’t say we’ve actually lobbied together, but it’s a common-sense thing. If we had a single-octane fuel that was higher, then we can take advantage of that for the customer, we can implement higher compression ratios and we won’t be knock-limited on the fuel. It’s win-win for the innovators as well as for the customers.