Photo courtesy of City of Beverly Hills

Photo courtesy of City of Beverly Hills

The City of Beverly Hills, Calif., is the latest public fleet to adopt renewable diesel.

Fleet Manager Craig Crowder said the city uses about 50,000 gallons of diesel per year, with police and fire vehicles accounting for the majority of its diesel use. Currently, the city is using renewable diesel in its central fuels station, which fuels all public works vehicles.

"The research that we’ve done indicated that it’s a drop-in fuel, a drop-in replacement for ultra-low-sulfur diesel (ULSD). Not only does it have emission benefits, it has the green bio benefit because it is a green bio-based product as well, but the way that they make that product is exactly the same way they make regular diesel fuel," Crowder said. "It functions exactly like ULSD so there are no issues; you can drop it right in your diesel tank and you can just start using it from day one."

Crowder hopes to run renewable diesel for a year to make sure there are no issues with storage, usage, and dispensing before expanding use to its police and fire fleet. The city ran B-20 biodiesel in the past, but had issues with the fuel. In one case, a fire rescue vehicle stalled on the way to the hospital. 

Calif.-based IPC USA supplies the city's renewable diesel. Crowder said he met the company at a Municipal Equipment Maintenance Association (MEMA) meeting.

Several fleets have made the switch to renewable diesel across the West Coast, including the cities of San Diego, Carlsbad, and Long Beach in California; Contra Costa County in California, and the City of Corvallis, Ore. New York City is also testing renewable diesel.