Growing Number of U.S. Diesel Vehicle Options Mirrors Growth in U.S. Biodiesel Industry
Jessica Robinson / (573) 821-1172
Jennifer Weaver / (734) 904-3822
February 6, 2013
LAS VEGAS - Having just achieved its largest production year yet with over 1.1 billion gallons of biodiesel produced in 2012, the U.S. biodiesel industry is celebrating 20 years of momentum and growth during the 2013 National Biodiesel Conference and Expo this week in Las Vegas, February 4th - 7th at the Mirage Hotel and Convention Center. At the same time, a bumper crop of new 2013 clean diesel vehicles are beginning to arrive in dealership showrooms nationwide, offering U.S. consumers more options than ever before in their quest to drive cleaner, more fuel-efficient vehicles capable of running on domestic, renewable biodiesel blends.
Ezra Finkin, Director of Policy and External Relations for the Diesel Technology Forum, described the momentum behind the clean diesel vehicle movement in the U.S. by saying, "2013 is going to be one of the most exciting years for clean diesel vehicles in U.S. history. We've seen the U.S. market appetite for diesel vehicles shift from 11 passenger diesel models last year to more than 22 diesel models available in 2013. Industry experts predict there will be more than 54 diesel vehicles available in the U.S. by 2017, with overall diesel vehicle market share approaching 10 percent by 2020."
Many of those vehicles were featured in a Biodiesel Vehicle Showcase Event at the National Biodiesel Conference last night, where automakers, dealers and Las Vegas fleets alike touted why the use of biodiesel, America's Advanced Biofuel, in today's new technology diesel engines is truly a winning combination.
Featured Fleets and Automakers in the Biodiesel Vehicle Showcase Included:
- Clark County School District (CCSD) , one of Nevada's best known green fleets, showcased its new Thomas Built hybrid diesel school bus, which operates on B5-B20 biodiesel blends and hybrid electric power. John Howard, Director of Vehicle Maintenance for Clark County School District, noted that all 1,467 of the school district's buses operate on clean, renewable B5 - B20 biodiesel blends year round, and have done so since 2001 in an effort to provide a safer environment for their schoolchildren.
- Hino Trucks Vice President of Marketing and Dealer Operations Glenn Ellispresented Hino's new game-changer: the 2013 Hino 195h hybrid truck, which is making its mark in the medium duty truck segment running clean and quiet on B20 biodiesel blends and electric power. Hino Trucks, a Toyota Group company, is now the fastest growing truck manufacturer in the U.S.
- Ford Motor Company presented its brand new 2013 Ford F-250 Super Duty, America's best-selling truck for 36 straight years, built Ford tough and approved for use with B20 biodiesel blends. Gerald Koss, Fleet Marketing and Product Strategy Manager for Ford Motor Co., also announced that Ford's new 2014 Ford Transit full size van will also be approved for use with B20 biodiesel blends as part of the company's continuing efforts to provide reliable alternative fuel vehicle options for their customers.
- Chrysler's new 2013 Ram Heavy Duty pickup features more horsepower and improved fuel economy with its 6.7-liter Cummins High-Output Turbo Diesel powertrain. While Chrysler has supported the use of B20 biodiesel blends by approved fleets since 2007, the company has announced that the 2013 Ram Heavy Duty pickups equipped with Cummins diesel engines are now approved for use with B20 by all their customers beginning in January 2013. The company will also be offering a new 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee in a diesel model that is approved for B5.
- Las Vegas' ownFindlay North Volkswagen dealership showcased two of Volkswagen's seven light duty diesel models that are available now or coming soon to the U.S. market. With the widest range of passenger diesel cars in the U.S., Volkswagen is offering the following six TDI clean diesel models in the U.S. market in 2013: VW Jetta TDI, Jetta SportWagen TDI, Passat TDI, Beetle TDI, Beetle Convertible TDI, and the VW Touareg TDI. Volkswagen has also unveiled a promising new VW CrossBlue mid-size SUV concept vehicle that features a highly innovative plug-in hybrid powertrain mated with a TDI clean diesel engine. All Volkswagen TDI models are currently approved for use with B5 biodiesel blends.
Biodiesel is an advanced biofuel made from sustainable resources such as soybean oil, recycled cooking oil and other fats and oils. It is the first and only EPA-designated Advanced Biofuel being produced on a commercial scale across the country. For more on the National Biodiesel Conference & Expo, please visit http://www.biodieselconference.org/2013.