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Over the past 12 months, U.S. drivers splurged more than US$2.1 billion on premium-grade gasoline for vehicles designed to run on regular gasoline, the American Automobile Association (AAA) said on Tuesday, despite the fact that there is no benefit for consumers in doing so.
North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization carried out industry-standard tests to assess emissions, fuel economy and vehicle performance, and found that drivers filling up their cars with premium gasoline were not gaining any additional benefits when their vehicles only require regular fuel.
“Drivers see the ‘premium’ name at the pump and may assume the fuel is better for their vehicle,” John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair, said in the statement.
But AAA warns drivers that premium means higher octane, not higher quality, and calls upon drivers to stick to the vehicle manual to determine which fuel they should use.
AAA’s survey showed that 70 percent of U.S. drivers own a car that requires regular-grade gasoline, compared to 16 percent who have vehicles requiring premium gasoline. The other U.S. drivers either own a vehicle that requires mid-grade fuel, or runs on alternative energy. In the previous 12 months, a total of 16.5 million American drivers unnecessarily filled up premium gasoline in their cars that require regular fuel at least once, AAA’s research shows.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said last month it expects record U.S. gasoline consumption this year.
Most recently, a gasoline pipeline that was shut down for repairs after it leaked may threaten the regular supply of the fuel for 50 million people in the eastern U.S. as the deadline for its restart was postponed.
The company working to repair the leak said on Tuesday that it expected to restart the main gasoline line on Wednesday.
According to AAA, the Colonial Pipeline leak has pressured prices in southeast states sharply higher, including weekly rises of US$0.07 or more in the states of Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.