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Archives for: September 2005, 15

NEW: Profiles of Florida Biodiesel Businesses:


Permalink 03:14:46 pm, Categories: News, 394 words   English (US)

"Betting My TDI on Elsbett"

A Brevard BioDiesel member describes his upcoming conversion below. (note:
an Elsbett one-tank system can run SVO, BD, or a mixture of both)

Elsbett is a German company with long experience in designing and modifying diesel engines to run on straight vegetable oil (SVO). They make the only single-tank SVO system available today. Originally, I didn't consider SVO because my driving is mostly short commutes--too short to use a dual-tank SVO system (start on diesel and switch to SVO after the engine is hot). But a few developments have changed my perspective:

1. I had planned to make my own biodiesel, but now that I've learned a lot about it, the methanol hazards make it a more serious venture than I care to start.

2. A pleased Prius driver for four years before switching to Jetta, I have followed the technology closely, and would be even more pleased to drive a plug-in diesel/electric hybrid, so I watch developments with interest.

3. Piedmont Biofuels in Pittsboro NC held an Elsbett conversion workshop where they converted two cars in 2004. I know the people there and have confidence in their abilities. With the single-tank system, short trips are OK, but if it helps, I'll even try adding plug-in heating units to make cold-starts work better. After all, if a plug-in hybrid is the ideal, a plug-in SVO is not so different in terms of convenience. The energy used to pre-heat the fuel system should still be much less than making biodiesel. And if it destroys my engine--oh well, it was for a good cause!

Here's a link to the Elsbett web site - unfortunately not very revealing.

Here's Eric Henry's web site, where he has posted info about the 2004 workshop at Piedmont Biofuels.

I talked at length with Eric a few weeks ago, and he remains very pleased with his Elsbett system. By the way, Eric is in the custom T-shirt business, and the way he runs his business is a superb model for any business person who cares about the environment! If you need a batch of T-shirts made, call him.

Piedmont Biofuels scheduled their second Elsbett conversion workshop for September 25, and I signed up. At last count, 14 owners will convert their cars under the direction of an Elsbett technician. The cost is $1000 plus expenses for the trip. I hope to post photos and descriptions soon.


Permalink 12:00:34 am, Categories: Background, 1588 words   English (US)

Diesel vehicle availability and statistics, background

A recent article in the LA Times was mentioned in a forum at the wonderful TDIClub site. Here are some highlights:

  • $3400 tax credit for diesel car buyers in the 2005 Energy Act. (I also note a 30% tax credit for installation of a B20 or greater refueling station.)
  • Chryslers CEO says if 20% of the US passenger car fleet were diesel we'd save 350,000 barrelts of crude each *day*.
  • VW sells more diesel cars in the U.S. than all of its competitors combined.
  • The diesel Passat is being phased out of the U.S. market next year because European demand is going to account for every model VW can make.
  • BMW reportedly has a small diesel SUV on tap
  • Diesel sales in the U.S. were up 33% in 2004 accounting for 3% of the passenger vehicle market - but over 90% of those sales were diesel powered pickups

Article text follows:

=> Read more!


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