Category Archives: Events

Hottest diesels on the road found at the 2014 National Biodiesel Board conference

This year, a few members of the Propel Fuels’ team — myself included! — were lucky enough to attend the 2014 National Biodiesel Board conference in San Diego, which happened to be timed beautifully with our Homegrown Roadshow 2.0 road trip. (Did you follow me & Em on our journey through SoCal? If not, be sure to check out Facebook to catch up on our shenanigans!)

A true opportunity to get back to our roots, the NBB Conference brings together folks from all rungs of the biodiesel industry—from manufacturers of processing components to fuel producers, vehicle manufacturers, and, of course, retailers like Propel that are dedicated to bringing those carefully processed fuels the last mile to consumers and fleet drivers like you.

nbb_booth

In addition to providing a rare opportunity to geek out with our industry brethren under one roof, the conference allowed to us to get to know our partners at the Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE) a bit better. As the representing arm of the San Diego Clean Cities Coalition, the Center for Sustainable Energy is committed to increasing awareness of renewable energy programs, including renewable transportation fuels. We were happy to share a booth with CCSE’s local Program Assistant, Rebecca  (pictured below with the not-me Emily) and chat with industry folk and consumers, alike, about the advantages and availability of Propel’s biodiesel.

Plus, the conference gave a couple of us a chance to finally check out the latest diesel vehicles — and even climb behind the wheel of a few.

FORD F250
The F-series family has been a top selling truck line for over 60 years and for the past four years, the Ford F250 Super Duty trucks have proudly sported a B20 biodiesel badge. At the NBB conference, Ford brought out the F250 for the vehicle showcase and the “Ride-and-Drive.”

em_F250(Trying my best to mimic those fancy car gals we see at all the auto shows.)

B20_F250

During the NBB-sponsored “Ride and Drive,” Propel’s Director of Fuel Supply & Logistics, Parker took the Ford F250 out for a spin. The standard Ford-built 6.7L Power Stroke® V8 Turbo Diesel offers 800 lbs of torque and 400 horsepower. And, of course, the B20 stamp of approval—higher mileage, better engine performance, and cleaner emissions.

F250

Having had previous experience with past generations of F250s, Parker’s reaction to the smooth handling and easy acceleration was enthusiastic. “This is a truck I could get used to driving, ” he proclaimed. The double cab was roomy with plenty of space for passengers and comfortable enough to be in it for the long haul. But, it is a work truck, and it is not small, so might not be the best about-town transportation.

driving-F250

CHRYSLER JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE ECODIESEL
To say that we’ve been excited about the release of the 2014 diesel Grand Cherokee is an understatement. We anticipated its arrival since the Detroit Autoshow early last year and now, finally, got the chance to inspect the Jeep in person.

nbb_autoshow

The 2014 Jeep® Grand Cherokee’s 3.0L EcoDiesel engine has a 30-mpg highway rating, can run up to 730 miles on one tank of fuel (Biodiesel B20, of course), and can tow up to 7,400 pounds. A great vehicle for rugged roads and superior fuel economy—and the B20-approval seals the deal.

jeep_diesel

CHEVROLET CRUZE
Winner of the National Biodiesel Board’s 2014 Innovation Award, the Chevy Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel is the first light-duty passenger car in the U.S. to be fully approved for use with B20 biodiesel blends nationwide.

cruze_b20em_cruze

Naturally, it was at the top of our Must-Test-Drive list. At Propel HQ, many of our team members own Volkswagen diesel passenger vehicles, namely the Jetta TDI sedan, which is the German equivalent to the American Cruze. As a TDI-driver, myself, I was looking forward to trying out a US-produced diesel for comparison.

driving-cruze1

The Cruze ran like a top, with smooth acceleration and only a gentle purr letting on to the diesel power. Some drivers might be disappointed to discover that the diesel is only offered with an automatic transmission and does not have a standard amenities package option—top of the line only, which means a bigger price tag for an already premium model. However, with a 46 mpg highway rating, beating out any hybrid on the market, it may be worth the extra cost. And as for the Cruze’s German competitor, the “Ride and Drive” guide was willing to go head-to-head with any Volkswagen diesel spec, matching or topping the Jetta TDI’s performance.

bulldozerAnd then there was this behemoth. While we didn’t have the chance to take this fancy biodiesel-friendly Cat Wheel Loader for a spin, Emily did prove that the wheel capacity is approximately one human. And the DPF filter catches 99% of all particulate matter. So fresh and so clean, clean!

– Emily S (“Shell”)

New Clean Fuel Point is now open in Sacramento – Try Propel fuel for FREE!

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Come get your fill of Flex Fuel E85 and Biodiesel B20 at Propel’s new Clean Fuel Point in Sacramento @ Mak’s Valero station, 1101 Broadway. During the Grand Opening event, try $10 of Flex Fuel E85 or Biodiesel B20 for FREE!

The Grand Opening celebration goes from Tuesday, September 11 through Friday, September 14, 10am – 7pm. Hope to see you all there!

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“On the Green Road” Tops Off at Propel Berkeley

While Propel’s Homegrown Roadshow team of Emily and Emily were between events in the SF Bay Area, they paid a visit to our Berkeley Clean Fuel Point to meet up with Cece Reinhardt, one of the partners behind On the Green Road. Per the duo’s website (which is also a live blog of their adventures), the goal of On the Green Road is to “green an Airstream, turn a used diesel truck into a veggie oil machine and hit the road in complete ‘off the grid’ style.”

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Amazingly, Cece and her fellow road-tripper Brenda Daugherty have been living out this journey since the end of last year and have plans to canvas much of the US and even parts of Canada while “driving towards sustainability one mile at a time.” And while Cece didn’t have the Airstream in tow when Propel met up with her in Berkeley to donate a well-earned tank of B20 biodiesel, she did promise that we’d meet again. We hope so! Best of luck to these road warriors as they live out their green dreams in sweet Airstream style.

Learn about Cece and Brenda’s On the Green Road adventure at www.greenrvlife.com, and find out where the Homegrown Roadshow is headed next at propelfuels.com/roadshow.

The Homegrown Roadshow is Coming to Town!

Yeehaw! This March, Propel is taking our show on the road, visiting seven of our CA fuel sites to bring Flex Fuel and Biodiesel drivers the chance to try clean burning, American-made fuels for free.

From the Bay Area  all the way down to San Diego, Propel’s Roadshow duo Emily and Emily will be cruising the West Coast, sharing their renewable fuel knowledge and offering new Propel customers at least $10 of free fuel along the way. The tour kicks off on Wednesday, March 7, in Elk Grove, CA (just outside of Sacramento) and concludes Friday, March 23 in Arcadia, CA (just outside of LA). For a full list of dates and locations, be sure to visit the Homegrown Roadshow online.

In addition to free fuel, Roadshow event attendees can also partake in special offers and giveaways from our convenience store partners. Own a business with fleet vehicles? We’ll have a dedicated fleet specialist on-hand at every event to discuss exclusive fleet savings and the many performance advantages of Flex Fuel and Biodiesel.

Can’t make it to an event? Starting next week, drivers can follow the Roadshow live on Facebook, and be sure to keep your eyes peeled for our official tour vehicle, Scout, passing through town. Every Scout or Roadshow picture posted to Facebook is a chance to win Propel swag and free fuel, so whether you see us live in person or you spy Scout zipping around your city, snap away!

See you on the Roadshow!

FREEDOM Film Tour Fueled by Ethanol

This month marks the start of the FREEDOM Film Tour - a nationwide tour of screenings for the new, renewable fuel-focused documentary FREEDOM. 

The latest labor of love from filmmakers Josh & Rebecca Tickell – the duo behind the 2008 award-winning documentary FUEL – FREEDOM takes place in the aftermath of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Moved to action by the physical and emotional impact of the  spill, Josh and Rebecca take an international journey to investigate alternatives to fossil fuels.

As Patrick Robinson of the West Seattle Herald writes in the film’s first review:

“FREEDOM makes a completely compelling case that by converting our dependence on oil to a literally home grown source of energy we achieve several goals. First we improve our economy by spending energy dollars here, second we create more jobs, third we base our energy needs on a renewable resource (corn and biomass), fourth we reduce our impact on the environment.”

After kicking off in the Pacific Northwest, the tour will make its way – via the ethanol-fueled FREEDOM Bus – down the coast of California this week before heading through most major cities from Phoenix to Washington DC.

Propel is excited to join Josh, Rebecca and company in celebrating FREEDOM at its San Diego, CA, premiere tomorrow, August 12th, at the AMC Mission Valley theaters at 7pm. To join us at this screening, visit the San Diego premiere Facebook page.

For more information on FREEDOM, to view a full tour schedule or to buy the DVD, visit the FREEDOM Film online – and be sure to connect with fellow FREEDOM fans on Facebook.

71st Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally to Feature E85 Bike

We loved it when the now-infamous father-son team at Orange County Choppers rolled out America’s First Renewable Fuel Chopper in 2008 (pictured left). A true flex fuel bike, the Chopper ran on E85 and was custom-designed for the Iowa Farm Bureau to promote the use of domestically produced, renewable fuels.

Now, thanks to the 71st Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally at the Legendary Buffalo Chip campgrounds in South Dakota, a motorcycle fueled by American-made E85 will take the spotlight once again. Thanks to the Renewable Fuels Association’s continued sponsorship, attendees will have the opportunity to learn more about using ethanol fuels for motorcycles; win renewable fuel merchandise; and have their photo snapped with the E85-powered bike (against a Buffalo Chip logo background, of course).

According to a quote from Buffalo Campground Sponsorship Director Lon Nordbye, as posted on DomesticFuel.com, “The Chip is excited to continue its partnership with the RFA and show our rally attendees that they can have a choice in fuel, no matter what their engine type is.”

For more information on this year’s event, visit the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally website. To learn more about ethanol fuels and the Renewable Fuels Association, visit www.ChooseEthanol.com.