Optimus Helps DC Public Works Expand Biodiesel Fleet

Cindy Zimmerman

The D.C. Department of Public Works (DPW) has been able to increase the number of heavy-duty fleet vehicles capable of running on renewable pure biodiesel (B100) by installing Optimus Technologies’ Vector System onto 17 new refuse trucks. The advanced fuel system allows the trucks to operate on B100 and reduces up to 86% of the vehicles’ greenhouse gas emissions.

The DPW began an evaluation of the technology in 2018, when the Optimus system was installed on six garbage and recycling trucks. The Vector System allows these medium and heavy-duty vehicles to run on pure biodiesel, a cleaner fuel solution produced from waste fats and oils. The success of the technology prompted the department to amend an existing order of 17 refuse trucks to include the Optimus biodiesel system prior to their delivery to the DPW.

Additionally, in conjunction with delivery of the new B100 vehicles, DPW installed a 12,500 gallon refueling station on-site to support the project expansion. The station is equipped with Optimus’ SMARTFuel RFID technology that limits refueling solely to vehicles that are equipped to utilize B100. The biodiesel fuel for DPW’s trucks is being supplied by North America’s largest producer of biodiesel, Renewable Energy Group (REG).

The DPW’s switch to biofuels is a part of Washington D.C.’s efforts to achieve 50% greenhouse gas emission reductions by 2032, with the ultimate goal being an 80% reduction by 2050. By using 100% biodiesel, DPW has been able to exceed their 2050 carbon reduction target with the fleet today, despite heavy duty vehicles presenting one of the biggest challenges to sustainability. The DPW intends to have close to 100 trucks upgraded with Optimus Technologies’ biodiesel fuel systems within the next year.

Biodiesel, Trucks