Fuels & Refueling
Fleet managers who consider alternative fuel solutions for their medium- and heavy-duty fleets are often concerned about the fuel used and fuel-associated issues. They want to know about a wide range of topics, from availability and long-term supply, to pricing trends, operations, station implementation, and certifications and safety. Optimus has thought through these issues to provide a high-performing, reliable solution that will last for years.
Optimus’ solution uses pure biodiesel (B100). With Optimus’ Fuel Partner Network, B100 is available nationwide. Contact Optimus for a list of certified fuel providers.
Fuel providers should contact Optimus to see how they can be part of Optimus’ Fuel Provider Network.
There are many different types of alternative fuels these days that are being used in medium- and heavy-duty diesel trucks, making it confusing for fleet operators to understand their options, much less the pros and cons of each. The following chart organizes fuel types to make it much easier to understand. Fuels highlighted in blue are compatible with the Optimus Vector system.
Pure biodiesel is derived from plant oil or animal-fat feedstocks. Such oils come from distillers’ corn oil (a by-product of ethanol refining), soy, algae, and recycled cooking oil. As shown in the following diagram, such feedstocks are pre-processed before transestrification.
Biodiesel, depending on the supplier, has traditionally been less expensive than diesel. Optimus does not directly supply fuel but works with our vast supplier network to leverage the best possible fuel price for our customers.
According to the National Biodiesel Board, 2.8 billion gallons of biodiesel were produced in 2016.
For pilot projects, Optimus provides small above-ground systems free-of-charge for a trial period. For larger projects, stations are available from a variety of providers. Vehicle operators can refuel trucks in the same amount of time as with diesel.
Biodiesel storage and dispensing is similar to that of diesel storage and dispensing. Biodiesel stored in either underground storage tanks (USTs) or aboveground storage tanks (ASTs) must comply with federal, state, and local laws. Generally, earning compliance is a straightforward process which involves verifying that all pumps, overfill protection devices, seals, etc. are biodiesel compatible.
It is worth noting that in some regions, biodiesel is exempt from some of the strict regulations because it is considered an NFPA Combustible Class IIIB liquid. This means that they have a higher flash point than petroleum diesel and are generally safer to handle. Optimus will work with fleet managers to obtain the necessary certifications as they vary based on individual fleet fueling situations (including local regulations and current fueling stations in place).