Boulder Goes For 90% Ethanol, Biodiesel Vehicles

John Davis

boulderThe vast majority of city government vehicles in Boulder, Colorado will run on biodiesel or ethanol within the next few years, if city planners have their way.

This story from the Boulder Daily Camera says that the city hopes to raise last year’s goal of 60 percent of new vehicles purchased running on alternatives to 90 percent this year:

Given that the fleet’s average vehicle age is seven years, that means that within just a few years, the overwhelming majority of the vehicles the city owns will either be hybrids or capable of getting by on biodiesel or ethanol.

Just a couple of years ago, [Joe Castro, who manages Boulder’s fleet] said, finding alternative-fuel versions of some cars was tough. When gas prices hit their peak over the last year, he said, that started to change.

“Now that more manufacturers are providing alternative fuel vehicles, we can cover a lot more of our needs,” he said. “Prior to 2009 we had a hard time finding light-duty trucks with alternative fuel options. In 2009, you’re seeing a lot more light-duty trucks with E85 ethanol” — that is, gasoline that’s 85 percent ethanol.

The city’s fleet includes cars and trucks that are hybrids or vehicles that burn ethanol or biodiesel — a version of diesel that’s generated from organic sources such as vegetable oil.

The article goes on to say that while some critics have tried to knock ethanol, the city officials have analyzed the benefits and found that it’s the best alternative to non-renewable petroleum.

Biodiesel, Ethanol, News