Two California cities have made the switch to renewable diesel to fuel their diesel fleet vehicles. The City of San Leandro in Northern California has switched all its municipal vehicles that run on diesel to renewable diesel, and the Pasadena Fire Department in Southern California has begun fueling its fleet of fire apparatus with renewable diesel. Both are using Neste MY Renewable Diesel, according to the company.
The Pasadena Fire Department operates one truck, four engines, and four rescue ambulances on renewable diesel and plans to transition all remaining apparatus to renewable diesel by 2019. Fire Chief Bertral Washington said the switch allows the city to reduce its carbon footprint. In addition, firefighters and engineers have reported a reduction in vapors while fueling the trucks, and firefighters who connect their vehicle exhaust removal systems are reporting that the smell of exhaust has reduced to near zero levels.
“Our fleet mechanic also has nothing but good things to report about the fuel,” Fire Station 32 Captain David Marquez said. “We will continue to assemble this kind of feedback with the hopes that it will assist in making this fuel available in all our city pumps,” he said.
The City of San Leandro has switched all municipal vehicles that run on petroleum diesel to renewable diesel. This move is part of the city’s Climate Action Plan, with a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The decision to make the switch was aided by Fleet Manager Freddy Barajas' familiarity with renewable diesel. “I had firsthand knowledge of the benefits of switching to renewable diesel from my experience at a previous agency,” he said. “The first benefit is the environmental impact of having a cleaner burning fuel. The second is being compatible with the varied array of equipment we have in our fleet.”
Barajas said the transition was easy and noted the fuel’s ability to make machinery run more cleanly. This means less soot to trap, extending the life of the diesel particulate filter system components, he added.
Neste MY Renewable Diesel is a low-carbon fuel produced from 100% renewable and sustainable raw materials. It cuts greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80% and enables reductions in engine-out emissions, according to the company. Unlike biodiesel, renewable diesel is a drop-in fuel that requires no blending and is compatible with all diesel engines.
The City of San Leandro and the Pasadena Fire Department join other government fleets that have switched to renewable diesel, including New York City; the City of Beverly Hills, Calif.; Sacramento County, Calif.; and the City of San Diego.