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BP has embarked on an awareness campaign aimed at educating motorists about fuel, following an industry report which indicated that an alarming number of motorists are filling up with the wrong fuel, particularly when it comes to Lead Replacement Petrol (LRP), commonly known as “Super”.
Tebogo Mekoa, BP’s Fuels Services Manager says even though less than 2.5 per cent of SA’s cars require LRP, about 32 per cent of motorists still use the fuel. This, he believes, is because of the many misconceptions that still exist around LRP. “Many still believe LRP is cheaper than unleaded petrol and that it allows their cars to perform better, which simply isn’t true.
“LRP costs the same as unleaded petrol, so there is no cost saving when purchasing LRP. Also, since the abolition of leaded petrol in SA in 2006, no further research and development has been invested in LRP. R&D budgets have largely been spent on unleaded petrol to benefit the existing car parc.
Most engines manufactured in the early 90s can use unleaded petrol without any modification and actually shows improved performance when using unleaded petrol.
Taxi mini-buses manufactured after 1996 are also meant to use unleaded petrol. By using LRP it can actually cause damage to catalytic converters fitted to these vehicles. Both the Toyota Hi-Ace and newer Quantum mini-buses have been designed to run on unleaded petrol, not LRP. Switching to unleaded petrol will not only improve performance, but will also prolong the life of fuel related components of these vehicles.
Even though there is no legislation that requires South African service stations to sell LRP, BP has taken the decision to accelerate the phase out of Lead Replacement Petrol (LRP) over the next few months. The phase-out programme also allows BP to make additional pumps available for more advanced BP Ultimate fuels to meet the growing demand as a result of the increase in new generation cars, and decreasing vehicle emissions in SA.
The removal of LRP will be done gradually starting at areas where the demand has reduced significantly. “It is vital to educate motorists and debunk the many myths surrounding LRP, and BP’s awareness campaign will focus on empowering motorists with relevant facts that will not only save them money in the long run, but also go a long way in saving the environment,” says Mekoa.