Hackney Council’s biodiesels journey began in 2008.
Now, almost a third of its 470-strong fleet runs on these clean-burning fuels.
Exploring and experimenting
Corporate fleet manager Norman Harding identified biodiesels as the right choice for the council’s vehicles, but he still had to find the right fuel. After initial trials of B30 FAME and the higher-blend B85, the council found a local supplier of 100% biodiesel at below market price – giving it the confidence to convert many of its vehicles.
Because FAME biodiesels have poor stability and degrade over time, they should be used within six months at most. But the council overcame this challenge by changing its vehicles’ fuel filters four times a year and their oil twice – as opposed to just one each for its non-biodiesel models.
When we were running around 150 vehicles on B100, we calculated we were saving 850 tonnes of CO2 annually
Oiling the wheels
The council recently stopped using FAME biodiesel, switching to B100 from hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) in 30 of its vehicles. HVO is an oxygen-free biodiesel that, while more expensive, is cleaner and more stable than FAME.
Independent testing of Hackney Council vehicles using B100 HVO to two different real-world drive cycles resulted in a saving of 69% and 28% respectively in nitrogen oxides emission compared to fossil diesel.