Biodiesel Drives Fleet Operations to be Better, Cleaner, Now!

 

Contact: Jennifer Weaver
(734)
904-3822
Samantha
Turner
(660)
329-0974
sturner@biodiesel.org

JEFFERSON CITY, MO – In a multitude
of ways, the past year has drawn into sharp focus the important
interrelationships between public health, the environment, and the
economy.  Yet through all the challenges presented by a global pandemic,
extreme weather events, and an economic recession, America’s trucking fleets –
the vast majority of which are powered by diesel engines – persevered to
continue delivering the essential goods and supplies that our nation relies on
to keep moving forward.  The past year also demonstrated the need for businesses
to adapt quickly to changing conditions, to work smarter with limited
resources, to do more to protect the environment and human health, and to not
become overly reliant on just one power source. These challenges have become
especially pertinent for America’s fleet managers on the front lines of this
evolution, and a growing number of those fleets are finding solutions with
biodiesel – a renewable, sustainable, low-carbon alternative to diesel fuel –
to help them operate better, cleaner, now.

Each
year NTEA, the Association for the Work Truck Industry, conducts a
comprehensive Fleet Purchasing Outlook Survey to better understand the
commercial vehicle landscape, including interest levels for advanced truck
technologies and alternative fuels.  Insights from NTEA’s
Fleet Purchasing Outlook
, provided by fleet professionals across the United
States and Canada, give the entire work truck industry perspective on
anticipated purchasing intent and areas of greatest interest to fleet managers.
For the fourth year in a row, fleet respondents in the 2021 Fleet Purchasing
Outlook Survey ranked biodiesel as their number one choice for current
alternative fuels use, and both biodiesel and renewable diesel were listed as
popular options for future use as well.

“Results
of this year’s Fleet Purchasing Outlook Survey indicate 2021 acquisition
activity will focus more on replacement than expansion,” said Chris Lyon, NTEA
director of fleet relations. “This is consistent with expectations, given the
fleet purchasing cycle peaked in 2018–2019. Regarding alternative fuel options
planned for the year ahead, biodiesel continues to rank among the most widely
accepted, representing a significant area of interest for a growing number of
fleets. Nearly 40% of respondents anticipate fuel type changes for 2021, an
escalation which may be partially attributed to increased usage of all
biodiesel blends.”

NTEA’s
recently released survey results for 2021 are being highlighted this week
during its Work Truck Week 2021 virtual event, and they reflect positive trends
for the use of biodiesel and renewable diesel in the diesel vehicle technology
of yesterday, today and tomorrow. The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) is
participating as a featured
exhibitor
in the event, with a Live
Demo
scheduled for Tuesday, March 9th at 9:45 AM ET featuring
the City of Ames’ use of clean, low-carbon, one hundred percent biodiesel
(B100) to power its fleet.

Rich
Iverson, Fleet Support Manager for the City of Ames, Iowa, explained, “Fleet
Services actively searches for ways to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and
lower our carbon footprint.  As we research alternative fuels for our
fleet, we look at the investment into infrastructure and equipment required to
move to a different fuel. Biodiesel offers us an easy, reliable and affordable
solution for use in our existing diesel fleet with our existing fueling
infrastructure.” The City of Ames has been using biodiesel blends of up to B20
(a blend of 20 percent biodiesel with 80 percent ultra-low sulfur diesel) to
power its diesel vehicle fleet, including fire trucks and ambulances, for over
11 years with great success.

However,
after completing a successful B100 pilot program last year with five of its
existing trucks, the City of Ames decided to further amplify its carbon
reduction efforts to provide even cleaner air for its residents by purchasing
seven new all-purpose dump trucks that are also equipped to run on 100 percent
biodiesel. All twelve trucks are upfitted with Optimus Technologies’ advanced
fuel Vector System that enables the engines to operate year-round on B100
biodiesel supplied by Iowa-based biodiesel producer Renewable Energy Group.

“We
found that using B100 biodiesel combined with technology offered by Optimus
Technologies gave us the best cost/benefit ratio in reducing our GHG
emissions,” Iverson stated. “The beauty of this approach is its simplicity.
Equipping our existing class 7 and 8 diesel dump trucks to run on pure
biodiesel was an immediate, economical way to significantly reduce our carbon
intensity.”

Compared
to fossil fuels like petrodiesel, B20 biodiesel blends reduce carbon by 16
percent on average, and vehicles operating on B100 can reduce carbon by an
average of 80 percent. Overall, the City of Ames’ use of biodiesel blends in
all its diesel equipment will reduce the fleet’s annual carbon emissions by an
estimated 250 metric tons in 2021. 

Made
from an increasingly diverse mix of resources such as recycled cooking oil,
soybean oil and animal fats, biodiesel and renewable diesel are better, cleaner
fuels that are available now for use in existing diesel engines without
modification. NBB is the U.S. trade association representing the entire
biodiesel and renewable diesel value chain, including producers, feedstock
suppliers, and fuel distributors.

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