Charlotte Water, a public water and wastewater utility operated by the City of Charlotte, N.C., has announced a pilot project to power dozens of its vehicles with renewable diesel produced by Renewable Energy Group (REG).
In May, 34 diesel vehicles in Charlotte Water’s fleet began running on REG’s fuel. Within the first three months, they reduced greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions by approximately 75 tons, which is equivalent to the GHG emissions of an average passenger vehicle that has driven over 183,000 miles. Over the course of a year, that would calculate to 300 tons, or the equivalent of over 732,000 miles driven. Notably, the renewable diesel-fueled vehicles have also performed well, and no equipment modifications were needed.
“As a public utility, we believe we have an obligation to protect the environment,” states Kathy Gibson, fleet manager for Charlotte Water. “Fueling diesel vehicles with 100 percent renewable diesel instead of petroleum diesel is a way to promote sustainability in the communities we serve, and the results have been very encouraging.”
Compared with ultra-low-sulfur diesel, renewable diesel reduces particulate matter by nearly 40%, carbon monoxide by 25%, nitrogen oxides by 15% and total hydrocarbons by over 10%, according to REG.
“We’re thrilled with the environmental and performance results Charlotte Water has seen so far and are confident Charlotte Water and their customers will continue to benefit from renewable diesel,” comments Gary Haer, vice president of sales and marketing at REG. “With transportation being the largest source of carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S., we are proud of the role we are playing in reducing air pollution in the Charlotte area, nationwide and around the world.”
Charlotte Water’s pilot project is expected to last approximately six months. The utility will then decide if it wants to continue or even expand the fleet’s use of renewable diesel.