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Posts Tagged ‘gasoline’

White House To Clean Up Gas, Auto Emissions

But cutting sulfur content could slightly boost pump price.

by on Mar.29, 2013

The Obama administration is calling for new rules to lower sulfur emissions in gasoline.

The Obama Administration is proposing new rules to reduce the level of noxious sulfur in the nation’s gasoline supply, a move that should reduce emissions – but also add a very small increase in pump prices.

The so-called Tier 3 standards set to go into effect by 2017 would more than offset that increase by improving the nation’s health and saving billions in medical bills, the White House contends. It would yield add-on benefits as lower sulfur levels would permit automakers to adopt even more advanced pollution control systems, several industry executives told

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The Administration previously took steps to reduce sulfur content in the U.S. diesel fuel supply. That has made it possible for the auto industry to meet stringent smog and particulate rules and, in turn, greatly expand the range of high-mileage diesel passenger vehicles available in the United States.


Diesel Soon to Outsell Gasoline, Forecasts ExxonMobil

Growing demand in the U.S. could push it over the top.

by on Mar.12, 2013

The Chevrolet Cruze diesel is one of a wave of new "oil-burners" coming to the U.S. market."

The number of diesel models available in U.S. showrooms is soon to expected to double, according to one trade group, and though many Americans are still skeptical about the energy-dense fuel, the increase in demand could soon lead to diesel surpassing gasoline as the most popular transportation fuel, forecasts energy giant ExxonMobil.

Where demand for gasoline will stay fairly flat in coming decades, predicts a new report, sales of diesel will rapidly grow – much of that increase driven by the commercial vehicle sector.

The study also sees a growing role for hybrid-electric transportation, though even combined with plug-ins and pure battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, ExxonMobile envisions “electrified” vehicles will still account for less than half of the global market by 2040.

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Diesel will surge past gasoline as early as 2020, and continue to gain share for at least another two decades, forecasts the company’s new study, “Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040.” Over the more than a quarter century covered by the report, diesel demand is expected to account for 70% of the growth in all transportation fuels.


EPA Gives Limited Waiver For Use Of E15 Gasoline

Increased ethanol levels okayed – but only for vehicles from 2007 or later.

by on Oct.13, 2010

EPA approves E15 - with strict limits.

The Environmental Protection Agency has approved a controversial proposal to increase the use of ethanol in the nation’s automotive fuel supply – but set strict limits on which vehicles can and can’t use what is referred to as E15.

Initially, only vehicles produced in the 2007 model-year or later will be permitted to fill up on E15, a term that refers to a blend of 85% conventional gasoline and 15% ethanol, an alcohol-based fuel typically produced from grains and other food crops.

Even with that limitation, “That represents more than 1/3 the gasoline consumption today” could be affected by the decision and converted from today’s limit of no more than 10% ethanol, explained EPA Assistant Administrator Regina McCarthy.

And by 2014, as older vehicles head to the junkyard, while newer models take their place, E15 could grow to as much as 50% of the fuel used in the U.S., the EPA official added.

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The figures actually may grow even larger.  Due to limited resources the environmental agency focused its initial study on relatively new vehicles.  It is hoping to complete an expanded study, covering cars, trucks and crossovers produced as far back as the 2001 model-year, with a decision to come by sometime in November or December, according to McCarthy.


Don’t Rule out the Internal Combustion Engine

Battery power gaining ground, but gasoline will stick around, experts say.

by on Jun.09, 2010

Hybrids offer plenty of promise but advanced -- and downsized -- engines like this Hyundai I4 will keep gasoline power competitive.

Despite all the talk of electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cells, industry insiders agree that the internal combustion engine will remain the choice for powering the world’s cars for the foreseeable future.
With that in mind, a group of experts gathered by the National Research Council (NRC) looked at ways to improve fuel economy using the same basic engine design that has powered cars since the 19th century, specifically, the spark ignition gasoline engine. Members of the committee presented their findings at a breakfast sponsored by the Center for Automotive Research (CAR).

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Trevor Jones, who headed the study, said other power sources, such as electricity and fuel cells still present challenges engineers and scientists have not been able to overcome. In addition, the low cost of oil will help keep the SI engine the dominant powerplant for at least the next 15 years.


Marketing Battles Return To Gasoline Retailing

Declining demand and drivers shopping solely by price prompt the latest advertising campaigns.

by on Mar.10, 2009

Look for more gasoline marketing campaigns as the weather warms.

With demand down, look for more gasoline marketing campaigns as the weather warms.

There’s nothing like a free tank of gasoline to cause a commotion at a gas station. That’s precisely what happened last Friday, when Shell kicked off its latest line of gasolines. Driver’s lined up to try the new fuel in seven commuter markets, including New York City, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Seattle, Houston, Jacksonville, and Cincinnati. Throughout the week of March 2, local radio stations hinted where the participating gasoline stations were. Then, finally, on Friday morning listeners were actually told where tanks would be filled for free from 7 to 9 a.m.

The gasoline market is tougher these days. Cumulative travel for 2008 changed by -3.6 percent (-107.9 billion vehicle miles), according to the Federal Highway Administration. But we still consume lots of fuel since Americans traveled an estimated 2,921.9 billion vehicle miles last year. So this is a market worth fighting over. Even though gasoline prices are down nationally on average to under $2 a gallon from $3.20 a year ago, according to AAA, demand is also way down as the Great Recession continues. Worse, from a brand promotion point of view, I speculate that virtually all consumers –who have been battered by outrageous increases during the last couple of years — are shopping price, then price, and not quality, a completely rational  response.

Advertising to the Rescue

Shell’s good, old-fashioned publicity stunt was created to hype Shell Nitrogen Enriched Gasolines. Shell claims that nitrogen is a new and key ingredient of the additive package in all three of its gasoline grades. Nitrogen is said to be more stable at higher combustion chamber temperatures common in late model engines. This increased stability resists breakdown better than conventional cleaning additives and is said to remove carbon deposits on intake valves and fuel injectors left behind by lower quality gasolines. Shell is supporting the launch of Nitrogen Enriched Gasolines with a national marketing campaign, including TV, radio and online advertising, as well as point-of-purchase marketing at Shell-branded stations.

Thus the latest shot was fired in the ongoing gasoline marketing wars. Virtually all major branded gasolines in the U.S. have additive packages and use marketing claims of cleaner running engines from their use, among other touted benefits.  Well, maybe so,  but maybe not.