From Scottsdale to Freeport, fleet use growing

By | March 01, 2004
Several vehicle fleets across the United States and Canada have started using, or renewed commitments to, biodiesel-blended fuels in recent months. Biodiesel Magazine is keeping tabs on these projects as a growing number of both government and commercial fleets turn to biodiesel from coast to coast.
In Olympia, Wash., 40 public works vehicles, from garbage trucks to heavy-duty vehicles, began running on B20 at the beginning of 2004. The city will likely increase the blend to B40 sometime this year.
In Minnesota, Lubrication Technologies will provide 368,000 gallons of B2 to Hennepin County over the next year. The county began using biodiesel in October 2003 in all of its fleet vehicles, including snowplows, ambulances, road pavers and other diesel vehicles.

Municipalities in Burnaby, Delta, North Vancouver, Wistler, Richmond and Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, will be testing biodiesel in a dozen heavy-duty vehicles, such as garbage trucks. The pilot program will last until the end of March. If the program is a success, more municipalities will begin to use the renewable fuel. In addition to the pilot program, recent testing by a Montreal transit system showed that B20 blends reduced carbon dioxide emissions by almost 1,300 tons.

Scientists in Meridian, Idaho, are conducting a comparative study on emissions from school buses fueled with diesel versus biodiesel. Approximately 170 city school buses ran on B20 from mid-January until late February. The Desert Research Institute of Nevada and the Community Planning Association (COMPASS) in Meridian will compare that data to the data collected from buses that ran on regular diesel, according to COMPASS principle planner Jay Witt.

EcoFresh, a carpet cleaning company in Scottsdale, Ariz., is using biodiesel to fuel its vehicles and cleaning equipment. It is the only company in the United States that runs all of its equipment and vehicles on biodiesel, according to Philip Beere, company founder and president.

In Freeport, Maine, outdoor apparel supplier L.L. Bean has decided to extend its use of biodiesel in the company's truck fleets and vans. L.L. Bean began using a B20 blend in spring of 2003 with the intent to test the fuel for one year. Company spokesman Rich Donaldson told Biodiesel Magazine that the company will continue to use biodiesel because it has been pleased with the results. "We wanted to see for ourselves what the benefits are," Donaldson said. "There weren't any negative effects in the cold weather. We are very pleased with how the program has gone."
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