Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Coffs Harbour, NSW, Australia
The selection of octane ratings available at the pump can vary greatly from region to region.
Australia: "regular" unleaded fuel is 91 RON, "premium" unleaded with 95 RON is widely available, and 98 RON fuel is also reasonably common. Shell used to sell 100 RON petrol (5% ethanol content) from a small number of service stations, most of which are located in major cities (stopped in August 2008). United Petroleum sells 100 RON unleaded fuel (10% ethanol content) at a small number of its service stations (originally only two, but it has now expanded to 67 outlets nationwide). All fuel in Australia is unleaded.
Israel: 95 RON & 98 RON are normally available at most petrol stations. 96 RON is also available at a large number of gas stations but 95 RON is more preferred because it's cheaper and performance differences aren't very wide and noticeable. "Regular" fuel is 95 RON. All variants are unleaded.
United States: in the US octane rating is displayed in AKI. In the Rocky Mountain (high elevation) states, 85 AKI (90 RON) is the minimum octane, and 91 AKI (95 RON) is the maximum octane available in fuel. The reason for this is that in higher-elevation areas, a typical naturally aspirated engine draws in less air mass per cycle because of the reduced density of the atmosphere. This directly translates to less fuel and reduced absolute compression in the cylinder, therefore deterring knock. It is safe to fill a carbureted car that normally takes 87 AKI fuel at sea level with 85 AKI fuel in the mountains, but at sea level the fuel may cause damage to the engine. A disadvantage to this strategy is that most turbocharged vehicles are unable to produce full power, even when using the "premium" 91 AKI fuel. In some east coast states, up to 94 AKI (98 RON) is available. As of January, 2011, over 40 states and a total of over 2500 stations offer ethanol-based E-85 fuel with 105 AKI. Often, filling stations near US racing tracks will offer higher octane levels such as 100 AKI.