1969-02-01

Fuel Requirements of Passenger Cars Throughout the World 690210

This paper reviews changes in the fuel quality requirements of passenger cars that have taken place during the past 10 years in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, Australia, and Japan. Included is an analysis of the major differences in the vehicle design and fuel quality trends.
During the study period, total car registrations have increased by 45% in the United States, two to six-fold in Europe, and 1968 registrations in Japan are estimated at 30 times those in 1958. The average of the vehicle octane number requirements of the new cars registered each year in each country has increased six to ten numbers during the study period with the exception of the United States, where the 50% satisfied level of new cars increased only one octane number. The substantial increases in antiknock requirements since 1958 can be attributed to changes in engine design to improve efficiency and power, and a customer acceptance and demand for the higher performance cars.
Premium grade gasoline quality has been increased to meet the higher antiknock requirement needs of the vehicle populations and is now at fairly uniform 98 to 100 research octane numbers in all the major markets of the world. Significant portions of the higher performance cars and some of the newer large volume production models require fuel quality levels significantly above those which will be available at reasonable costs from existing refining facilities. Also, this study points out that some car models show significant increases in under-hood temperatures which may cause operating limitations due to vapor lock during summer periods.

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