As the first major city in the United States, Oakland has now switched to NEXBTL renewable diesel in all of its vehicles.
People are wiping sweat off as the sun beats down on the refueling point in the City of Oakland's depot. Still, everyone is smiling around the pump. A host of influential people, including Neste´s management, were present to celebrate this historic moment.
The first drops festively flow into the tank of a white maintenance truck bearing Oakland's oak logo.
All 250 diesel vehicles and machines of the City of Oakland, such as sweepers, trucks, tractors and construction equipment, will be powered by NEXBTL renewable diesel from now on. Their total annual consumption is approximately 870,000 liters.
Use of NEXBTL is increasing among public corporations and companies
The use of Neste's NEXBTL renewable diesel is increasing rapidly across the world as it is adopted by private and public fleets. Google's army of one hundred buses traveling the streets of San Francisco drive 380 times a day between Silicon Valley and the city, transporting technology workers, with Neste fuel in their tanks. UPS transport vehicles also use NEXBTL.
The City of Walnut Creek in California switched to renewable diesel in August, and San Francisco announced that it will complete the migration by the end of the year. "I believe that this year will be a watershed in history as a time in which a major change towards more sustainable alternatives began across the country," Kristine Shaff of the City of Oakland's government estimates.
Does not contain biodiesel
"Ignorance is now the worst obstacle," says Richard Battersby, Fleet Manager for the City of Oakland. "Renewable diesel is continuously mistaken for biodiesel, which it is not. It is also assumed that migrating to renewable diesel will result in infrastructure-related costs or that it would be more expensive. All these are misunderstandings."
Battersby emphasizes that NEXBTL renewable diesel is the first genuine fuel alternative for the oldest and most problematic off-road vehicle fleet. "The use of NEXBTL does not require changes in logistics, and it is compatible with all diesel engines. It is possible to migrate to a cleaner fuel virtually overnight," says Battersby, who has been advocate for cleaner fuels for 20 years.
California is a trailblazer
The fuel is supplied to the cities of Oakland and Walnut Creek by Golden Gate Petroleum, one of the first distributors of Neste's NEXBTL renewable diesel in the United States. "So far, customer feedback has been exclusively positive," the company's VP Pat O'Keefe says happily. The change is part of the State of California's ambitious program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
"Switching to renewable diesel supports Oakland's aim to become an increasingly responsible, innovative and healthy environment. With the significant reduction of emissions from renewable diesel, we can create a healthier and safer environment for our residents," says Libby Schaaf, Mayor of Oakland.
100% renewable diesel
NEXBTL renewable diesel reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 60–85%, particles (PM) by 30–40% and nitrogen oxides (NOX) by 10% compared to fossil diesel. The fuel is produced completely without fossil components from waste oil, i.e. animal and fish fat waste, used cooking oil and residues from vegetable oil processing, such as palm oil processing by-products and technical corn oil. The chemical composition of 100% renewable diesel is identical with fossil diesel. It has been used by corporate customers in Finland since 2007.
Last year, a total of 1.6 billion liters of the fuel was produced from waste and residue feedstocks in Porvoo, Rotterdam and Singapore using Neste's patented NEXBTL hydrotreatment technology. Neste has invested approximately EUR 1.5 billion in renewable energy and become the world's largest producer of fuels from waste and residues.