In New Zealand, we've had a few scandals over the new millennium relating to our petrol and diesel. Back in January 2010, 3 News reported that diesel contamination could be costing vehicle owners thousands of dollars a year in maintenance, while another incident reported by Stuff in 2007 saw a petrol station shut down due to water in the underground fuel tanks.
However, it appears that one particular problem with fuel consumption has been discovered and solved all in one swift motion by oil giants BP, with the introduction of the new ACTIVE Technology to some of their fuels in New Zealand.
— BP (@BP_plc) April 4, 2016
Dishing the dirt
It's a fact of the automotive industry that everyday driving can result in buildups of unwanted substances in the engines, resulting in worse performance, higher running costs and ultimately leaving any driver or fleet manager not getting the most out of their vehicle.
BP describes how unburned fuels, sooty deposit and hard metal shards can all make an appearance due to everyday running, meaning that no cars are truly safe from this maintenance issue. This could be part of the reason why diesel cars are generally considered to be more expensive in terms of maintenance.
After a five-year-long study on this phenomenon, BP has decided to tackle this particular issue with a new fuel additive introduced to BP Ultimate 98 and BP Ultimate Diesel across New Zealand, and also to Premium 95 in the North Island exclusively.
"Our previous BP Ultimate fuel was pioneering when it was launched, but as engine technologies have evolved so must we," said BP General Manager of Fuels Debi Boffa.
"We invested in this brand new technology because we think our customers deserve the best, whether their vehicle is new or old."
Staying out of retirement
Because the dirty deposits build up over time, older vehicles could be particularly at risk.
This emphasis on support for older vehicles is particularly important for the New Zealand fleet. The 2014 report from the Ministry of Transport described how New Zealand has a comparatively old fleet compared to the rest of the world, and because the dirty deposits build up over time, older vehicles could be particularly at risk.
In addition, if BP's claim that the additive can help add 56 kilometres per tank of fuel is accurate, it could help make diesel a cleaner choice as well as cheaper than petrol. Of course, if costs are your main concern, you can get the most out of your vehicle with a fuel card. Extra additive or not, a fuel card could give you access to diesel or petrol at bargain prices.