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Petrol explained

16 June 2008
BP ultimate 102

As used in: The majority of cars on the road today.

What is it? Unleaded is distilled from crude oil and then refined. It is burnt in an internal combustion engine to produce power.

Where can I buy it? At every fuel station in the UK – almost 10,000 locations.

Pros: Unleaded is widely available and affordable, and engines are becoming more fuel-efficient.

Cons: It leads to relatively high levels of carbon dioxide emissions, returns lower fuel economy than diesel or hybrids and is a finite resource.

Expert view: Unleaded petrol will continue to play an important part in motoring, either on its own or as part of a hybrid/dual-fuel system.

Advances in technology have led to engines that are cleaner and more fuel-efficient. Car makers promise further improvements if oil companies can remove sulphur from petrol.

Outlook: Unleaded petrol has an important part to play, at least in the short term.

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