Championing Biodiesel for Nearly Two Decades

B20 Club Member Spotlight: City of Indianapolis

Alternative fuels are more popular now than ever before. But for the largest city in Indiana, the search for sustainable fuel is nothing new. The City of Indianapolis has been fueled by biodiesel for nearly two decades now—and they’re not planning on stopping anytime soon.

Nearly two decades ago, the City of Indianapolis Department of Public Works began their journey with biodiesel, a cleaner, renewable form of diesel fuel. Now, DPW has four B20 fuel sites and over 1500 vehicles run on biodiesel year-round.

“When we entered into an agreement with the State of Indiana in 2003 to increase E85 and biodiesel usage, we purged all tank lines and filled them with B20,” says Bill Rogers, fleet administrator. “The transition was easy. We basically just dumped it in and put B20 stickers on all dispensers.”

And biodiesel isn’t the only alternative fuel on the City of Indy’s radar.

“We’ve considered pretty much everything,” says Rogers. “Biodiesel is our preferred fuel and is used in most of our trucks, but we also use liquefied petroleum gas (propane), E85, compressed natural gas, and plug-in-hybrid-electric vehicles.”

DPW’s use of biodiesel provides benefits to both Indy’s health and environment. Their use of B20 provides an estimated $1.7 million in annual health benefits and a carbon reduction equivalent to planting 27,211 trees every year.

The City of Indianapolis Department of Public Works was recently named a 2022 Leading Fleet by Government Fleet magazine. This awards program, co-produced with the American Public Works Association and sponsored by Ford Pro, recognizes operations that are performing at a high level, particularly in fleet leadership, competitiveness and efficiency, planning, and overcoming challenges. The City of Indianapolis also was selected and received the Greater Indiana Annual Clean Fleet Leader award for 2021.

“Many of the fleets we were up against to be a 2022 Leading Fleet don’t use biodiesel. But the fact that we were named a leading fleet along with several other prominent biodiesel users goes to show that biodiesel is a top tier fuel, and we love that the B20 Club helps promote its use.”

About Biodiesel

Made from an increasingly diverse mix of resources such as recycled cooking oil, soybean oil, and distillers corn oil, biodiesel and renewable diesel are better, cleaner fuels that are available now for use in existing diesel engines without modification. These low-carbon, low-cost fuels are helping to reduce emissions today from trucks, buses, emergency vehicles and large equipment. Both are derived from renewable feedstocks and their use does not typically require expensive investments in refueling or recharging infrastructure. The market for these fuels has grown as the U.S. consumed about 3 billion gallons of biobased diesel fuel in 2020 and the market is set to double by 2030.