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Fuel types explainedClick on the headings below to expand
Unleaded petrol (ULP)
Regular unleaded petrol (ULP) was introduced to market in 1986, to enable new vehicles to operate with a catalytic converter, a device designed to reduce exhaust emissions. ULP is the recommended fuel for the majority of passenger cars made since 1986.
Under the National Fuel Quality Standards, regular unleaded petrol is required to have a minimum Research Octane Number (RON) of 91.
Premium unleaded petrol (PULP)
Premium unleaded petrol (PULP) is designed for engines that have a high compression ratio. Therefore, it is formulated with a higher-octane level to prevent knocking and to optimise performance. Under the National Fuel Quality Standards PULP is required to have a minimum RON of 95, however a number of premium unleaded products are formulated with a RON of 98.
Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)
Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) is the most commonly used alternative fuel for vehicles, consisting mainly of a mixture of propane and butane.
Cost savings may be achieved by using LPG, dependant on the price differentiation with petrol and the engine conversion costs. LPG can also provide some environmental benefits, with estimates suggesting that exhaust and evaporative greenhouse emissions are approximately 15 per cent lower from vehicles using LPG compared to petrol. A national fuel quality standard for automotive LPG is due to be introduced in early 2003.
Automotive diesel fuel is designed for compression ignition diesel engines. A diesel engine has a higher compression ratio, resulting in lower fuel consumption than an equivalent petrol engine. From 31 December 2002, it has become mandatory for all diesel sold in Australia to contain less than 500 parts per million (ppm) sulfur, typically referred to as Low Sulfur Diesel. This compares to previous typical production with around double that level.
E10 (Ethanol 10%)
E10 is a specially formulated regular unleaded petrol blended with up to 10% renewable ethanol. For some up to date information on whether your vehicle is suitable to run on fuel blends of up to 10% ethanol, please visit the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries web site.
Fuel consumption labels
Carsguide has made it easier for you to check the fuel consumption and emissions data of cars as you search for car specifications. This has been designed to correspond to the fuel consumption labels placed on the windscreens of all new cars.
Carsguide's Car Specifications Green facts data:
Australian Government fuel consumption label
The Fuel Consumption Label is an Australian Government initiative to promote consumer demand for vehicles with good fuel efficiency and lower greenhouse impact. All new vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle mass sold in Australia, regardless of fuel or body type, are required to have a Fuel Consumption Label on the front windscreen. This includes passenger cars, four wheel drives and light commercial vehicles. To see more information about this, please see details of the fuel consumption label here.