US: new luxury gasoline comes with advantages for higher cost image

This week in the US the gasoline stations belonging to Shell will start offering a breed of new, more expensive grade of premium-plus gasoline that seeks to gain an advantage over the competition in the never ending battle between oil companies.

The launch could also bring a new battle between the oil providers to add new features to their mixes of fuels, with the new grade of premium-plus gasoline aimed at providing longer engine life and greater efficiency, as the duo become crucial targets in the quest to reach the higher standards of fuel economy and lower emissions standards. Shell V-Power Nitro+ has not been tested by independent laboratories to see if the company’s claims are accurate, but independent fuel and engine experts believe the new additives used inside the gasoline could help lower engine wear and improve efficiency. “Nitro+ adds protection against wear and corrosion to the detergents our gasoline already contains,” said Shell researcher Ed Nelson. The gasoline has demonstrated lower wear and corrosion through standard industry lab tests, the executive added. Still, if you don’t have your vehicle manufacturer recommending the use of premium, there’s no need to go for the higher priced fuel.

Independent experts believe that reduced wear can help the engine maintain optimal performance through the vehicle’s life, which is now very important as the government is getting ready to enact the tougher fuel economy and emissions standards. “Reformulated fuel could make a difference” says Harold Schock, mechanical engineering professor and director of the energy and automotive research lab at Michigan State University.