Category Archives: Driver Testimonials

World Record for fuel economy goes to a diesel!

Ladies and gentlemen, once again, diesels are cleaning up on the podium. This time it is a Guinness World Record for the best fuel economy. The Volkswagen Passat TDI, driven by a two-man team for 8,122-miles across America, achieved 77.99 miles per gallon. A full 10 miles per gallon better than the previous record! And it flew passed the hybrid record by a whopping 13 miles per gallon.


Drivers, Wayne Gerdes and Bob Winger, purchased only 104.94 gallons of diesel fuel for the entire distance of their tour. The duo used common hyper-miling techniques like steady acceleration after stopping, utilizing momentum, and sticking to the speed limit. Doesn’t sound too tricky! Even without any fancy driving techniques, the Volkswagen Passat TDI is rated an EPA estimated 43 miles per gallon on the highway.

Read more about  record setting VW TDIs  and  history of their awesome fuel economy.

Photo credit:

Propel Fuels Partners with Econation Green Transportation Service in California

Just in time for the New Year, Propel is making new friends in the fleet world, including our latest fleet customer, Econation – a global ground transportation company that exclusively employs the use of hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles in its fleets.

Econation driver Teddy fills his Suburban with Propel's Flex Fuel E85 in Arcadia, CA.

Econation will fuel its fleet of Flex Fuel vehicles at Propel locations in the greater Los Angeles area with renewable E85 fuel – a cost-effective blend of 85 percent high-performance, American-made ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. As a business member of Propel’s proprietary CleanDrive® program, Econation will also be able to track the environmental impact of every gallon of Propel fuel pumped, including pounds of CO2 reduced, barrels of oil displaced and more.

“Today more than ever, travelers appreciate being able to do something better for the environment while still experiencing the comfort, luxury and affordability they associate with a leading transportation company,” said Econation Managing Partner Ben Bloch. “We view this new partnership with Propel in the same light. We’re able to fuel our Flex Fuel vehicles with the sustainable, American product they were designed for without sacrificing quality, performance or cost. And Propel’s CleanDrive reporting program complements emissions data reports that we offer our clients. It’s a natural marriage.”

The CleanDrive system is an integrated carbon emission reduction tracking platform that tracks and displays the carbon emission reductions from the use of renewable fuels purchased at Propel stations. CleanDrive graphically displays the positive impacts of renewable fuel use including: reductions in CO2, barrels of oil displaced and reductions in foreign oil consumed. The system tracks fuel usage across Propel’s network of fueling stations, enabling businesses and government fleets to quantify the positive impacts of their decision to use low-carbon fuels, and in some cases meet mandated or voluntary fleet emission reduction goals. (You can have your own personal CleanDrive account, too! It’s free to register.)

“We’re proud to work with Econation who is setting high standards in green transportation and introducing sustainable fuels to an entirely new sector,” said Propel CEO Matt Horton. “Together with great fleets, individual drivers and better choices at the pump, we are making progress at reducing our dependency on imported oil and helping meet our nation’s emission reduction goals.”

So who exactly is Econation?

Econation is a global “green” alternative to traditional ground transportation (taxi’s, Town cars, limousines and buses). Offering an assortment of the most cutting edge hybrid and alternative fuel based sedans, utility vehicles and buses, Econation provides corporations and individuals with a way to be environmentally and socially conscious without sacrificing price, comfort, or dependable service. Econation was the first alternative fuel and hybrid firm to win Limousine, Charter and Tour (LCT) magazine’s 2011 Operator of the Year award, which measures chauffeured ground transportation firms on categories including innovation, safety and operational excellence.

To learn more about Propel Fuels, visit us online on from your mobile phone at More information on Econation is available at

New engines maximize ethanol’s power and MPGs

Most drivers like the power, price and renewable benefits of E85, but are looking for ways to increase MPGs. Engines designed with gasoline as the primary fuel are not maximizing ethanol’s potential, which can often lead to mileage penalties. However, new  technology from manufactures like Ricardo is geared toward running efficiently with ethanol’s higher octane rating.

In a recent interview with Fleet Owner magazine, Robert Kozak, president of Atlantic Biomass Conversions pointed out that, “Such engine designs tap into the positive ability of ethanol to resist early ignition, thus regaining much of the previous fuel economy loss,” Kozak explained. “Higher octane ethanol makes an internal combustion engine operate more efficiently – up in the 30% to even 40% range – while it’s also priced lower than gasoline, on the order of 10 to 15%, because of its lower Btu or energy content.”

The goal is to produce direct injection engines that perform equal to if not more efficiently than current gasoline engines. And this is what Ricardo engine product group has developed in their ethanol boosted direct injection platform.  According to Rod Beazley, director of Ricardo, Ethanol’s higher octane rating allows the fuel to withstand compression rates closer to that of diesel engines. The higher the compression rates the better an engine can translate energy into power.

These first steps toward boosting ethanol efficiency in heavy-duty engines opens the door for continued technology innovation and helps solidify ethanol as a desirable choice for drivers.

Read more from Fleet Owner.

B20 Biodiesel powers land speed record

This is not your granddady’s diesel pickup truck. The Hajek Motor’s Ford F250 Super Duty powertrain truck recently broke the land speed record for diesel vehicles on the Bonneville Saltflats–then they filled ‘er up with Biodiesel B20, turned around, and broke the record again!

The previous speed record was set by a BMW motorcycle at 130 mph. The Hajek Ford F250 had slight modifications to upgrade the fuel injectors, fuel system, and turbocharge, but was otherwise mostly stock. Running petroleum diesel, the truck reach over 177 mph, but with biodiesel B20 they smashed the record, reaching speeds over 182 mph.

Depending on the feedstock, biodiesel delivers greater energy density than petroleum diesel. According to the National Biodiesel Board, the B20 used by Hajek was produced by a Missouri biodiesel plant and purchased and donated by the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council.

Read more from Autoblog.

Michigan Sheriff’s Fleet Saves with E85

Low price at the pump combined with limited MPG-loss combine for significant savings.

Huron County Sheriff’s Office began an experiment last March that had the department testing blends of Ethanol from E50 to E85. The goal: saving the county money through its fleet of 12 flex-fuel vehicles.

Sheriff Kelly J. Hanson found that as long as ethanol prices are less per gallon than the price at the pump for unleaded fuel, it would result in a significant cost savings. “As it turns out, our patrol fleet, which is mainly Chevrolet Impala cars, averaged between 1.5 miles to 2 miles less per gallon on E85 as opposed to unleaded,” said Hanson.

The Department also experimented with E50 and found that there was just about a one mile per gallon difference.

“When we basically went and took a pencil to it, it was determined that as long as pricing patterns remained the same, E85 would be the better choice,” he said. “Obviously, we are going to have to continuously monitor price differences in order for the county to benefit.”

If the price difference (with unleaded fuel costing significantly more) remains the same between E85 and unleaded, Hanson said the department stands to save nearly $1,000 per 25,000 miles.

“When you take into consideration our office puts on more than 400,000 patrol miles in a year, our county could benefit from the use of ethanol,” he said.

But access to the fuel can be an issue. Because Bad Axe and Harbor Beach do not have ethanol stations, Hanson said those patrols vehicles that start out of Bad Axe and Harbor Beach will frequently be forced to use unleaded fuel.

“Our deputies are being encouraged to purchase ethanol if they are in the vicinity of an ethanol station and their vehicle could use fuel,” said Hanson. “It would be pointless to specifically drive several miles in order to just buy ethanol.”

Full Story

Now Available from Propel: B20 in Sacramento!

In response to customer interest in increasingly renewable fuels, Propel is proud to announce the arrival of B20 biodiesel in Northern California! Available of as June 1st at two of Propel’s Sacramento Clean Fuel Points, Propel’s B20 is blend of 20% biodiesel and 80% petro-diesel that provides increased performance, longer engine life and reduced emissions, all at no additional cost.

Most exciting, Propel’s B20 is safe for use in all diesel engines – and no conversion is required.

What’s more, Propel’s B20 biodiesel:

  • 10x more lubricating than pure petroleum diesel and has a higher cetane rating for easier starting and increased engine efficiency.
  • ...has less ozone-forming potential than petroleum diesel and is proven to reduce toxic tailpipe emissions, including CO2 – a major contributor to climate change.
  • …meets ASTM specifications and can be safely run in diesel engines without any conversion or change in maintenance. In fact, a study from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has shown that even the latest in clean diesel technology is compatible with B20 without impact to the engine or the emission control system.

"I can't wait to check it out!" said Propel customer Dave Parsons

Propel customer John Felts filling up his Mercedes CDI with B20

Follow in the footsteps of Propel’s inaugural B2o’ers (above) and try B20 for yourself at the following Northern CA locations, or visit Propel’s Station Locator for a full list of Clean Fuel Points and available fuel blends:

999 Sunrise Ave (at Cirby Way at the 76 station)
Available Fuels: FlexFuel E85 | Biodiesel B20
Still looking for B5? Visit our Citrus Heights location

Sacramento – Folsom Blvd
8090 Folsom Blvd (at Power Inn Rd at the Shell station)
Available Fuels: FlexFuel E85 | Biodiesel B20
Still looking for B5? Visit our Florin Road location

Visit Propel Fuels to learn more about B20, and be sure to check out recent news coverage highlighting the Sacramento debut of Propel B20 from Domestic Fuel and the Sacramento Bee.

BMW diesel Super Bowl ad. Fueling ch-ch-change.

Want more power? Burn Flex Fuel E85.

No software or hardware adjustment needed–the 2011 Ford F-150 5.0-liter V8 engine is ready to run on E85.

As posted on, “the 5.0-L F150 is rated at 360 horsepower (at 5,500 rpm) and 380 pounds-feet of torque (at 4,250 rpm) running on regular unleaded gasoline. But the 5.0 is also flex-fuel capable. Flexible-fuel vehicles are designed to run on gasoline or a blend of up to 85 percent ethanol (E85).

Burning E85 fuel boosts 5.0 engine power to 375 hp and 390 pounds-feet of torque, said Mike Harrison, Ford’s program manager for V-8 engines.”

Flex Fuel E85 has a 105 octane rating and a higher compression ratio than regular gasoline, making it a highly efficient fuel.

Read more from

Want to test it out for yourself? Try a tank of E85 from any Propel California location. For a map and list of stations, visit Propel’s Station Locator.

Innovative design & E85 capability wins Automotive X Prize

The ultra-light, E85-powered Edison2 vehicle getting 102 miles per gallon won the top award in the automotive X Prize.

Out of 111 competing teams, the Edison2 car was chosen as the winner of the Mainstream Class, 4-passenger, 4-wheel vehicles. The “Very Light Car #98″ weighing about 830 pounds,  boasts a 250cc engine fueled by high-octane E85.

The Edison2 team will use the $5 million prize to help bring the vehicle to market in a more consumer-ready version.

Read more the Automotive X Prize.

Run faster, cleaner? Use E85.

The old rules of racing are being challenged as cleaner and more efficient automotive fuels find their way to the track. Project Green, a group of researchers from the Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory has found that modern fuel-injected engines powered by E-85, outperform the same engine with a carburetor and leaded racing fuel. The cleaner burning fuel injection engines have been replacing carburetors since the 80s, except on the track.

“The testing disproves two widely and firmly held beliefs in the circle track racing community: that carbureted engines are inherently more powerful than engines equipped with a fuel injection system; and that E-85, which is less expensive than leaded racing fuel, is not well-suited as a fuel for race cars”, says Forrest Jehlik, principal mechanical engineer at Argonne’s Center for Transportation Technology.

Read more

Volkswagen BlueMotion vehicles named 2010 World Green Car brand

“The definition of the World Green Car of the Year was expanded a bit today when the World Car of The Year organization named Volkswagen‘s BlueMotion product brand – including the PoloPassat, and Golf models – as the 2010 World Green Car during the 2010 New York Auto Show. The 59-member jury’s statement declaring BlueMotion the winner took a swipe at hybrid technology when is said:

It is not necessary to add an electric motor and a heavy battery pack to achieve class-leading efficiency. Based on Volkswagen’s common-rail diesel engines, the BlueMotion models are among the most fuel-efficient vehicles on the market. In fact, the Passat BlueMotion can travel just about 1,000 miles on one tank of fuel in the European cycle. As far as internal combustion engines go today, these models are the ultimate you can get.

Even with these critical words, the organization did pick the Toyota Prius and the Honda Insight as the Green Car of the Year runners-up. In other World COTY news, the VW Polo won the overall World Car of the Year title.”

Read more from Autoblog Green.

Find out where to fill up your diesel with cleaner burning biodiesel in California and Washington.

Biodiesel Bulletin: Biodiesel delivers sweet treats

Propel customer, Essential Baking Company, is highlighted in the latest edition of the National Biodiesel Board’s monthly bulletin.

“The Web site for The Essential Baking Company in Seattle says it all: “We’re fussy. Fussy about taste, the texture of our bread, the flakiness of our pastry, the richness of our desserts, and preserving the time-honored techniques of baking. And don’t even get us started about the importance of the pureness of what we put into our bodies or our impact on the environment.”

That commitment to the environment is fulfilled in part by using 99 percent biodiesel . . .” Read more from the National Biodiesel board.

Changing how America fuels, one tank at a time

In January, American drivers displaced 784,000 barrels of foreign oil every day by using American-made ethanol fuel, the most renewable fuel ever used in America’s history. A big thanks to all Propel customers who contributed by choosing to fill their vehicles with renewable, homegrown Flex Fuel E85.

Together, we can change what we put in our tanks, reduce our dependence on foreign oil and support domestically-produced, cleaner burning fuel.

Read more from Domestic Fuel.

Propel’s 85 cent E85 event a great success

Last Wednesday’s event brought drivers across Sacramento to Propel stations to fill with E85 Flex Fuel for $0.85/gallon. New and returning customers were happy to brave the morning’s stormy weather to fill their tanks with low-carbon, domestically produced E85.

Drivers across the region joined together to reduce approximately 30,000 lbs of CO2 and save over $10,000 at the pump–in just one day!

Propel team members enjoyed meeting new customers at the pumps on Wednesday, as well as catching up with many loyal Propel users. We appreciate all your comments and suggestions on ways to improve customer experience at the pumps.

See more pictures from the event on our Facebook page.

At the Pump . . .

Propel community members share their stories.

Elk Grove, CA – Elk Grove Clean Fuel Point – December 2009

We met Jennifer fueling her C230 Mercedes-Benz with Flex Fuel at the Elk Grove Clean Fuel Point. She has been filling with Propel ever since the service department at her vehicle dealership told her that her C230 was flex fuel capable.

Mercedes does not badge flex fuel models, making it difficult to figure out which vehicle are flex fuel capable.

Flex Fuel Capable Mercedes Models:

C230 Sedan 2.5L, model year 2007

C240 Luxury Sedan & Wagon 2.6L, model year 2005

C300 Luxury & Sport 3.0L, model years 2008 – 2009

C320 Sedan, Sport Sedan & Wagon 3.2L, model years 2003 – 2005

See a full list of Flex Fuel Vehicles.

Clean Diesel Wins Again for Green Car of the Year

For the second year in a row, clean diesel technology earns the top award from Green Car Journal. The Audi A3 TDI was announced as the 2010 Green Car of the Year at the Los Angeles Car Show earlier this month.

The diesel hatchback station wagon was select from among an impressive group of fuel-efficient vehicles, including the Honda Insight hybrid, Mercury Milan hybrid, Toyota Prius, and the Volkswagen Golf TDI.

The Audi A3 TDI touts a 42 miles per gallon highway fuel economy, “a 50 percent improvement over the gasoline A3 variant that makes the car very economical to operate with low relative CO2 emissions.” And, to top off the improved efficiency, Audi has approved the use of B5 Biodiesel in the A3 TDI.

Read more about the Audi A3 from Green Car Journal.

Study finds E85 increases efficiency offsetting MPG loss

PropelCD5_E85_pumpA study released by the University of Nebraska found that E85 delivers more efficiency over higher petroleum fuel blends, offsetting much of the loss in Miles Per Gallon (MPG) typically attributed to E85. The study illustrates that when calculating fuel MPG performance, both the energy density of the fuel (BTUs), and the energy efficiency must be accounted for.

The report tested light, medium and heavy vehicles showing E85 improved energy conversion by 13, 9 and 14 percent respectively when compared to higher petroleum blends. This increased efficiency translates into an MPG decrease of only 14 to 19 percent depending on vehicle size using E85, showing that energy density and efficiency of fuel both factor into overall MPG performance.

This difference in MPG is compensated by the lower price of E85 blends at the pump that are on average 20-30% less than regular unleaded. In fact, Propel E85 is nearly 60 cents cheaper than regular gasoline, making E85 the ecomomic choice.

Find the station nearest you.

Read the University of Nebraska study.

At the Pump . . .

Propel community members share their stories.

Rocklin, CA – Rocklin Clean Fuel Point – Thursday, September 3rd.


Martha has been filling her Ford Explorer with Flex Fuel for the last three months and loves it–especially the price, nearly 70 cents cheaper than regular gasoline.

Her husband noticed that they could use Flex Fuel E85 from a label posted on the inside of the gas tank door.

She lives in Penn Valley, CA, but works conveniently close to Propel’s Rocklin location–though she’d like to see a station in Grass Valley area sometime soon. She and her husband are big proponents of E85 and spread the word to friends and family.

Can your vehicle run Flex Fuel E85? Find out.

Cut the Cardboard When Making a Move

Customer Profile: FROGBOX


Propel customer FROGBOX is changing the way Seattle moves. In city that uses about 1 million cardboard boxes per month for moving purposes alone, FROGBOX offers a low impact alternative.  It makes sense they use alternative fuels (Yes, that’s Propel’s South Lake Union Station in the background). FROGBOX supplies Seattle with eco-friendly, reusable moving boxes that makes a move easier on you and the environment.

“There’s a widely-held false perception that since it’s cardboard, it will just be recycled and used again, but cardboard and paper products take up 40 percent of our state’s landfills, and OCC (old corrugated cardboard) is one of the most commonly found items in industrial and residential waste streams,” said Jeff Hill of FROGBOX.

So how do you lose the cardboard when preparing for a move?
1. Call FROGBOX at 1-877-FROGBOX or visit
2. FROGBOX delivers the eco-friendly moving totes and containers
3. You pack and move
4. They pick up the containers when you’re done

Easy enough! We’d like to thank FROGBOX for using clean, alternative fuels – and for making a move a whole lot easier.

Take our survey, enter to win $300 of FREE FUEL

Propel has teamed up with students from Sacramento State for a summer internship program. Students are conducting short customer surveys at all Propel Sacramento locations– Monday, August 17th through Sunday, August 23rd.


Stop by any Propel Sacramento location, take our survey and register to win $300 of FREE fuel. And chat with our friendly interns, they’re doing a great job!

For a map of Propel California locations, visit our station locator.

At the Pump . . .

Propel community members share their stories.

Sacramento, CA – Folsom Blvd Clean Fuel Point – Monday, August 10


Met Fred filling up his Flex Fuel Chevy Tahoe at Propel’s Folsom Blvd location in Sacramento–it’s conveniently close to home for Fred and he likes to save money at the pump.

Right now, Propel’s Flex Fuel E85 is nearly 70 cents cheaper than regular gasoline!

Fred looks forward to Propel stations in the Bay Area and in Fresno.

You can sign up for new station announcements or request a station in your area on Propel’s website.

Eco-conscious car showdown, VW Jetta TDI up against Toyota Prius

Video from Volkswagen’s TDI Blog.

King 5 News fleet fills up in Downtown Seattle

King5_fill_slu King 5 regularly fills up their fleet vehicles at Propel’s Downtown Seattle biodiesel station. The satellite truck fills at the high flow dispenser–it pumps 30 gallons per minute!

Propel Customers in the National Spotlight – CNBC Story

CNBC’s The Tech Effect features Propel and reports on the growing access to clean fuels in the Sacramento, California region.

Propel sign_CNBC

Propel Fuels offers customers choice at the pump beyond traditional petroleum options. Matt Horton, Propel CEO says, “today we’re selling E85 ethanol and biodiesel, tomorrow we’ll be selling hydrogen and electric vehicle charging–whatever makes sense at the time.”
Propel customers like Paul Wikoff, choose to use Flex Fuel E85 not only because it is less expensive than regular gasoline, but also for the environmental and health benefits.


Watch the CNBC clip.

At the Pump . . . Sacramento State

Propel community members share their stories.

Sacramento, CA – Folsom Blvd Clean Fuel Point – June 2009

cacee_ffv_silverado2We met Cacee filling up his rig at Propel’s Folsom Blvd location. The Flex Fuel Chevy Silverado is part of Sacramento State‘s Parking Enforcement fleet.

Cacee has fueled the Sac State vehicle with Flex Fuel E85 since Propel started pumping in the Sacramento region at the beginning of this year.

Sac Sate has a number of Flex Fuel Vehicles and whenever possible they use Propel’s Folsom Blvd pump as it is conveniently close to campus.

Can your vehicle use clean, American-made fuel that is easier on your wallet?

Find out if your vehicle can use Flex Fuel E85.

United States Postal Service runs alternative fuel

USPS fills up with Flex Fuel E85 at Propel’s Rocklin, CA location.



Comcast…at the Pump

Propel community members share their stories.

Elk Grove, CA – Elk Grove Clean Fuel Point – June 2009

We were excited to meet Comcast technician, Koso, filling his Flex Fuel service van at Propel’s Elk Grove location. Many of the 2009 Ford E-Series commerical vans are flex fuel capable.


Comcast makes a concerted effort to deploy alternative fuel vehicles as part of their fleet. Currently, Comcast has over 1,200 flex fuel vehicles.

According to Comcast’s 2009 Corporate Responsibility Report, it has the 2nd largest number of hybrid and alternative fuel capable vehicles in the communications industry.

Comcast pledges to “continue to purchase alternative fuel capable vehicles and use alternative fuels where it proves environmentally beneficial and operationally responsible”.

With the increased access to alternative fuels in the Sacramento area, we hope to see more of Comcast at Propel’s pumps!

At the Pump . . .

Propel community members share their stories.

Rocklin, CA – Rocklin Clean Fuel Point – Thursday, June 11th


Trey and Melissa frequently fill up their flex fuel-capable Ford F150 at Propel’s Rocklin, California location.

They bought the F150 without realizing it was a Flex Fuel Vehicle–able to run E85, regular petroleum gasoline or a mixture of both.

Trey noticed a label on the fuel tank door stating “ethanol fuel or unleaded gasoline only,” so he called the dealership. Sure enough, 5.4L engine Ford F150s from the model years 2006 – 2009 (8th character of VIN = “V”) are all flex fuel capable.

As regular gasoline prices climb, filling with E85 has helped Trey and Melissa save money–sometimes as much as $30 a tank!

At the Pump . . .

lon_suburban_ffvlon_flexfuel_badgePropel community members share their stories.

Sacramento, CA – Folsom Blvd Clean Fuel Point – Friday, June 5th

On a quick trip out to the Folsom Blvd location, we met Lon Hatamiya, former Secretary of Technology, Trade and Commerce for Calfornia, fueling his Chevy Suburban with Flex Fuel E85.

He’s a major proponent of alternative fuels and has been filling at the Folsom Blvd and Rocklin locations since the stations opened in California earlier this year.

’84 Toyota pick-up converted to run on ethanol


We met Dave filling up at our Rocklin, CA location. And couldn’t help but notice his enthusiasm for alternative fuel.

He converted his 1984 Toyota pick-up  with the help of David Blume’s book, Alcohol Can Be A Gas!, to run on E85 flex fuel. It’s been four months since he made the conversion and all is going well.

Dave says, “I went from 24 miles per gallon to 22, and the last time I bought fuel, ethanol was $2.05 per gallon and regular was $2.80 at the same station, that’s a lot better miles per dollar.”