With so many fuels now available, decoding all the letters and numbers on a petrol bowser can be a baffling exercise. Where E10 is available, there are a number of different brands you may come across when filling up your vehicle.
E10 petrol is uniformly blended with ethanol at 10% as a standard unleaded petrol, and there are also a few premium E10 fuels with higher octane ratings. A vehicle engine has an octane requirement for petrol that is expressed as a number. This refers to the ignition requirements for the engine and represents the engine’s resistance to pre-ignition.
Standard unleaded petrol is classified as “91 RON” (with RON standing for “research octane number”), which is the resistance rating for that fuel. E10 is never lower than 91 RON, but can be slightly higher at 93 RON or 94 RON, depending on how the ethanol is blended into the petrol.
Premium unleaded petrol, known as “PULP”, is not blended with ethanol and is available as 95 RON, suitable for many European cars, and 98 RON, also known as ultra premium (“UPULP”). There is a limited number of premium E10 petrols that you may be able to choose if your vehicle needs petrol with a 95 or 98 octane rating.
Otherwise, it’s not necessary to use petrol with a higher RON or octane rating for your vehicle as it won’t provide any additional power or fuel efficiency.
Some boating groups are against E10, because boat engines can be damaged if ethanol-based fuel comes into contact with water. Check with the manufacturer of other equipment, such as lawnmowers, edgers and chainsaws, about using biofuel in their motors.