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  • Writer's pictureRon Kotrba

Crown Oil runs entire fleet on HVO, highlights UK govt.’s lack of biofuel support

Updated: Jul 2, 2021

renewable diesel fuel delivery, HVO
Photo: Crown Oil

U.K. fuel supplier Crown Oil announced June 30 that its entire fleet of 25 fuel-delivery trucks manufactured by Netherlands-based truck maker DAF is running on hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO), also known as renewable diesel. Crown Oil is an HVO supplier and says it is the first and only fuel supplier in the U.K. to run its entire delivery fleet on HVO fuel.

The company is touting HVO as an immediate, cost-effective way to reduce carbon emissions compared to the long lead time and expense required to electrify transport.

“HVO … is an advanced renewable diesel fuel that provides a fast and simple step towards net zero rather than the leap needed for electrification,” the company stated. “The paraffinic diesel fuel delivers up to a 90 percent reduction in net CO2 emissions ‘from well-to-wheel’ compared to conventional diesel, as well as up to a 27 percent reduction in nitrogen oxide and up to 84 percent reduction in particulate matter—all key components towards improving air quality.”

Crown Oil highlights the U.K. government’s lack of acknowledgement of or support for low-carbon biofuels such as HVO.

“We are proud to be helping pioneer change as the U.K.’s net-zero target approaches, with industry poised for this move for some time,” the company stated. “However, this cost-effective, practical solution appears to have been lost on the U.K. government. Other European states such as Sweden recognize that climate and air quality improvement cannot rely on a ‘one-size-fits-all’ policy. They have instead adopted a multipoint strategy which includes the use of renewable fuels in addition to the development of the [electric vehicle (EV)] market. Their government passed a bill in 2017 which permitted biofuels to be subject to tax exemption. This led to a 124 percent increase in HVO sales in October 2017 compared with October 2016, with green diesel alternatives taking up 28 percent of the market, of which 83 percent was HVO fuel.”

Use of EVs will be “restricted to domestic use,” or light-duty passenger vehicles, “rather than in commercial fleets,” Crown Oil stated. “Crown HVO is the most viable option currently available to businesses and commercial fleet owners who want to implement greener commitments within operations right away without the high costs and additional infrastructure needed for electrification. With the loss of red diesel duty relief set to come into place for many sectors from April 1, 2022, we hope that the government looks to introduce duty relief on low-emission fuels such as HVO to help further encourage uptake.”

By switching its delivery fleet to HVO, Crown Oil expects to cut CO2 by more than 3,000 metric tons a year, which is equivalent to the average annual carbon footprint of more than 242 U.K. residents, the weight of 77 elephants, or driving around the world 81 times.



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