PETALING JAYA: RON95 was the buzz at neighbourhood petrol stations as consumers had to quickly grasp the differences between the RON92 (which is discontinued) and RON97 (which has been upgraded) and the new, more environment friendly oil.
The first thing they want to know is how they will benefit from this change to RON95 which retails at RM1.80 per litre.
“About 90% of motorists using RON97 (which has been upgraded to a premium product and sold at a higher price of RM2.05 per lire) can now switch to RON95,” said Domestic Trade, Cooperative and Consumer Affairs Ministry secretary-general Datuk Zain Mohd Dom.
“The price of RM1.80 for RON95 will be capped at this level for the rest of the year,’’ Zain told StarBiz, referring to a statement earlier by Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob. “It moves within an active price range, depending on the price trend of oil gauged over a one-month period.’’
All this while, consumers have been using RON97 which is too powerful for cars today. “Take a look at car manuals and one will often find that RON95 is recommended,’’ said Zain, adding that RON97 had stronger ingredients that were more suitable for higher powered cars.
RON (research octane number) measures the octane quality of fuel. It refers to the fuel’s ability to resist premature and uncontrolled combustion that occurs when fuel pre-ignites before ignition by the spark plug.
The newly-introduced RON95 fuel is priced at RM1.80, five sen higher than that of RON92, which is leaded petrol. Concurrently, RON97 has been upgraded as a premium product and its price has gone up to RM2.05 from RM1.80.
Ismail had said at a press conference on Tuesday although the price of RON95 was higher, the Government was still subsidising 33.81 sen per litre, which comes up to about RM304mil monthly.
He said the upward revision of the prices was necessary as the global crude oil price had doubled since the announcement by former minister Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad in March that RON95 would be sold at RM1.75.
Currently, the Government is subsidising 42.72 sen per litre for RON97.
While consumers who were using RON92 are required to pay more when they upgrade to RON95, those using RON97 and are able to downgrade to RON95 will save 25 sen per litre.
According to car manufacturers, as long as the fuel used is not below the minimum RON requirement (RON91), it would be appropriate for any vehicle.
Given that 90% of all cars can use the newly-launched RON95, this should provide savings for most consumers. All Perodua and Proton cars are compatible with RON95.
“What you need to do is find out whether your car can run on RON95 or not. This information should be available in your car manual or on a sticker near your fuel flap,” an industry player said.
A BMW Malaysia spokesman said there were no problems with RON95, in general, for BMW models although there was no technical data on performance.
Performance cars such as Suzuki Swift Sport, Honda Civic Type R, Mitsubishi Airtrek Turbo, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, Range Rover and Skoda 200FSI are incompatible with RON95.
Owners of cars that are incompatible with RON95 will have to fork out an extra RM10 for every 40 litres of RON97.
Shell Malaysia Trading Sdn Bhd managing director Datuk Mohzani Wahab said the company remained confident that its revenue would increase this year, despite the anticipated lower sales of Shell Super 97 (RON97) due to the 25 sen price difference from the price of RON95.
Mohzani said the RON95 had received encouraging response from motorists so far.
Meanwhile, it was reported that Petronas Dagangan Bhd expected its RON95 fuel to register 95% sales. The company started selling RON95 in May and 65% of its consumers had opted for RON95 against RON92.