Propel Fuels offers B20 at three new locations in Bay Area

By Bryan Sims | August 12, 2011

In an effort to bring increasingly sustainable fuels to California drivers, Redwood City-Calif.-based fuel retailer Propel Fuels is now offering B20 at three of its stations in the San Francisco Bay Area: one in Berkeley and two locations in San Jose.

Sourced from recycled vegetable oils, Propel’s B20 offering will provide significant performance and efficiency benefits to diesel engines, reduce harmful emissions and is compatible with current diesel vehicles. Automobile manufacturers are now producing more diesel vehicles, which are fully compatible with B20, including all 2011 General Motors and Ford diesel vehicles and Cummins engines, according to Propel CEO Matt Horton.

“The market in general is becoming more and more comfortable with higher blends and we’re delivering product to them,” Horton told Biodiesel Magazine.

Since 2007, Propel has sold B20 in Washington with positive response from its customers and the company is seeing similar feedback in the Bay Area, according to Horton.

“We plan to continue to convert more of our stations to B20,” Horton added. “B20 is our preferred blend for customers since we see the strongest demand for it.”

Propel continues its progressive movement for providing fuel choice at the pump. Prior to offering B20 at its three locations in the Bay Area, the company launched a new rebate program in June to benefit small- and medium-sized fleet customers. The company’s Volume Rebate Program offers enrolled fleets a tiered rebate for monthly purchases of 500 gallons or more of its biodiesel and E85 products. For the program, Propel partnered with Wright Express, a provider of fleet management and transaction processing.

“What [the B20 offering] is really about for Propel it’s about making progress,” Horton said. “We want our customers to feel absolutely confident in the fuels and for many who’ve never used biodiesel before, B5 is a great entry point. But, once they’re comfortable with the performance benefits, and just overall benefits of the fuel, people do tend to like higher level blends and we’re committed to bringing those to them.”

While he couldn’t disclose actual volume data of B20 sold at the three retail stations, Horton admitted that the retailer has seen a significant uptick in sales.

“We’re keeping our B20 price consistent and competitive with regular diesel so we’re not asking our customers to pay a premium for the B20 product,” Horton said.

Propel sells varying blends of biodiesel at all 26 of its retail locations, with the majority offering B5, a growing number now offering B20 and a few that carry B99.


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