How to recognize the fuel labels,

Petrol, diesel, gas, all words that a gas station attendant hears dozens of times a day. For about a year the labels indicating the fuels have changed and can sometimes be confusing, but here they are well explained.

The new labels

Starting from 12 October 2018, the new legislative regulation in Italy came into force which provides for the definitive change of the abbreviations designed to indicate the different types of fuel. Along with the abbreviations, the colors of the fuel type have also changed .

Many drivers, faced with the sea change in their favorite refueling pump, may have felt lost. Before these changes, in fact, the gesture of refueling was almost automatic. Notice that it was enough for you to stop at the pump, park your car and you didn’t even have to read what fuel you were going to get, the color was enough. To date, however, new abbreviations have been introduced accompanied by numbers and in some cases even new colors, not to mention the widespread birth of many new columns designed to refuel electric vehicles.

Have you ever wondered why this sudden change? In 2014, the European Union, with regulation No. 94, introduced an identification code for each type of fuel. In 2018, by changing the pumps, Italy did nothing but adapt to the standard that came into force a few years earlier.

The reason for the change is soon said. It all started from the need of the European Union to create a standardization of products and services that travelers to different countries encounter. The network of road users who move through European countries every year is very dense and the confusion related to the different types of fuel is not small, so much so that many have suffered serious damage by inserting the wrong fuel in their vehicle. . The idea behind this new technical requirement is to create a uniform and much more rational network, also to have a clear understanding of the product distribution of fuels. From the perspective of travelers from all over the world entering Europe this is undoubtedly good news. In fact, wherever you go, you can safely refuel without having the slightest doubt about what you are putting into your car. a particularly good news also for those who go on vacation outside Italy and do not know how to deal with local supplies.

How to read the labels

The new labels introduce a geometric shape that indicates in a unique black ami the type of fuel they refer to and are accompanied by letters of the alphabet and numbers that carry other important information. Specifically we have:

  • the circleindicating gasoline ;
  • the squareindicating all types of diesel fuel ;
  • the rumblethat indicates gaseous fuels .

Furthermore, work is currently underway on a new legislative standard that introduces a single wording for electric power motors in Europe and Italy. Fortunately, in these cases it is quite easy to distinguish an electric column from a petrol pump.

All geometric signs are also accompanied by a letter of the alphabet and a number . The letter of the alphabet specifically indicates what fuel it is, while the number indicates the percentage of bio components that are present in the fuel. In fact, in recent years, attention to the environment becomes increasingly greater, therefore there are various fuels that have a greater quantity of less polluting elements. In particular:

  • the Eindicates petrol and is usually accompanied by a 5, 10 or 80-85. This means that gasoline has 5, 10, 80% green fuel;
  • the B,on the other hand, indicates diesel and the number alongside indicates the percentage of biodiesel, which is generally contained between 6 and 10. You could therefore find on pumps B6, B10 and so on;
  • You may have happened to find the word XTLinside the square. Also in this case, despite the lack of the ‘B’, diesel is indicated, with the difference that the composition of the fuel is completely synthetic. Synthetic diesel differs from others because it is not produced from oil processing.

For gaseous fuels , ie enclosed in the rhombus , the terms are different. We have H2 which indicates hydrogen , a rare label to be found in Italy. CNG instead indicates compressed natural gas , while LNG  is liquefied natural gas . Finally we have LPG which indicates LPG engines .

Do the labels change, does the product change too?

As you may have guessed, it is important to know how to read the new labels . Especially for the health of your car. In fact, in recent years, technology has definitely evolved, giving life to much more efficient engines than those produced up to ten years ago. But there is the downside: if the old wineskins continued to work undaunted after a long time, on any territory and in the extreme state of wear, the new ones are sometimes more delicate and therefore an incorrect supply could cause extremely serious damage. . But be careful: if you use a quality of petrol with a different amount of green fuel than usual it does not mean that your engine will die, it just means that there is a type of fuel with certain percentages more suitable for that engine.
Having said that, even if the labels have changed it does not mean that the product has also changed. Your petrol station attendant will continue to refuel from the same manufacturer and the fuel introduced will always be the same. To find out which type of fuel best suits your car, you can ask the petrol station or the dealer. On the other hand, for all cars registered after 12 October 2018, the instruction booklet and sometimes the fuel nozzle is indicated on the fuel nozzle.


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