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  • Clean Fuels Alliance America

Major equipment manufacturers, fleets on the move with clean fuels

Updated: Jan 30

A Florida Power and Light vehicle on display at the Clean Fuels Conference in Tampa, Florida, Jan. 23-26 (Photo: Ron Kotrba, Biobased Diesel Daily)

At the Clean Fuels Conference in Tampa Jan. 24, leading diesel engine and equipment manufacturers Caterpillar, John Deere and Cummins joined major fleets including PepsiCo and Florida Power & Light on a featured panel to discuss the important role that low-carbon liquid fuels like biodiesel and renewable diesel play in helping them achieve their near- and long-term corporate sustainability goals.

These clean fuels offer substantial and immediate carbon-reduction benefits in heavy-duty on-road, off-road, marine and rail transportation, segments that are otherwise difficult to decarbonize or electrify.

Feucht (Photo: Ron Kotrba, Biobased Diesel Daily)

Joining the panel of experts was Joel Feucht, vice president and general manager for Caterpillar’s large reciprocating-engine business. “At Caterpillar, we’ve long recognized the value of sustainable biodiesel and other renewable fuels to our customers who have prioritized the decarbonization of their operations,” Feucht said. “In fact, Cat diesel-fueled power solutions have enabled operation on B20 biodiesel blends and various hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) fuel products for more than a decade. With the increasing availability and adoption of renewable fuels, we’re committed to expanding our product and service offerings to help equipment owners further capitalize on the benefits they offer.”

A Cat engine on display (Photo: Ron Kotrba, Biobased Diesel Daily)

As part of a vehicle-technology showcase at the Clean Fuels Conference, these featured equipment manufacturers and fleets are displaying a wide variety of vehicles and industrial equipment that supports the use of biodiesel and renewable diesel.

While B20 (a blend of 20 percent biodiesel with 80 percent ultra-low sulfur diesel) has been the industry norm for more than a decade and can be used in the majority of diesel vehicles without modification, many fleets are now looking beyond B20 to further accelerate their decarbonization efforts.

A 2023 Freightliner 114SD equipped with Optimus' B100 fuel-system technology (Photo: Ron Kotrba, Biobased Diesel Daily)

One-hundred percent biodiesel (B100) reduces carbon emissions by more than 70 percent, and Clean Fuels Alliance America member company Optimus Technologies has engineered a system that allows fleets to capitalize on those benefits and run their heavy-duty vehicles on B100, even in the harshest conditions.

Optimus Technologies is showcasing a 2023 Freightliner 114SD equipped with its B100 fuel-system technology at the Clean Fuels Conference this week. On loan from the manufacturer, Vac-Con, the truck is being upfitted with Optimus’ Vector System during the truck-manufacturing process. The final form of this truck will be a 10-yard combination vacuum truck for sewer-cleaning operations, with the ultimate destination being the Washington, D.C., Water and Sewer Authority.

“The Optimus Vector System is enabling commercial and municipal fleets across the country to immediately decarbonize their most challenging assets,” said Colin Huwyler, CEO of Optimus Technologies. “Optimus is proud to be creating a path to a more sustainable future with leading fleets like D.C. Water by using 100 percent biodiesel to power the critical equipment that keeps the infrastructure in our nation’s capital functioning.”

The new Dodge Ram (Photo: Ron Kotrba, Biobased Diesel Daily)

Clean Fuels Conference attendees as well as local Tampa-area residents will also have the opportunity to test drive some of the latest biodiesel-capable diesel pickup trucks and SUVs coming to market in 2023 during a biodiesel ride-and-drive event at the Tampa Convention Center on public day—Jan. 25 from 10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The event will feature new diesel models supplied by local dealers including Elder Ford of Tampa and Courtesy Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram.

In addition, Florida Power and Light will be showcasing several of its biodiesel-powered fleet vehicles that have been a critical part of FPL’s recent hurricane recovery operations.

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