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General Motors expands its B20 biodiesel line-up with new cars

Car giant General Motors is providing more of its customers with choices to use car models that can use B20 biodiesel blends.

With eight new diesel vehicle options hitting the roadways in 2017 – 2018, General Motors now offers a full line-up of twenty different diesel models, from passenger cars, to pickups and SUVs, to commercial vans and low cab forward trucks - all of which are approved for use with B20.

John Schwegman, director of Commercial Product and Medium Duty Product for General Motors, delivered the news to attendees of the National Biodiesel Conference & Expo in San Diego.

“Diesel propulsion deserves wider consideration by fleet managers across the country,” Schwegman said.  “With biodiesel production and retail distribution expanding, and so many proven benefits, we believe more fleets will embrace the technology as part of their sustainability plans. If our diesel customers fuelled exclusively with biodiesel, we estimate that consumption of petroleum-based fuels would be reduced by hundreds of million gallons annually.”

GM’s announcement, along with additional new diesel model introductions this year, sends a strong signal that diesel remains an important option for meeting the current and future needs of US drivers. Including 2017 and 2018 models, Chevrolet and GMC will offer one of the largest portfolios of vehicles capable of running on B20, a blend of 20% biodiesel and 80% ultra-low sulphur diesel.

GM Fleet’s B20 Capable Options Include:

  • Chevrolet Express full-size vans (Cargo, Passenger, Cutaway)
  • Chevrolet Low Cab Forward commercial truck
  • Chevrolet Colorado mid-size pickup
  • Chevrolet Silverado (2500HD, 3500HD, Chassis Cab) pickups
  • Chevrolet Equinox crossover vehicle
  • Chevrolet Cruze (Sedan, Hatchback) passenger cars
  • GMC Savana (Cargo, Passenger, Cutaway) full-size vans
  • GMC Sierra (2500HD, 3500HD, Chassis Cab) pickups
  • GMC Canyon mid-size pickup
  • GMC Terrain crossover vehicle

In 2018, Chevrolet will add a fifth diesel-powered truck line: a new Class 4/5 conventional cab truck being developed jointly with Navistar.

Welcoming the news from GM, Donnell Rehagen, CEO of the National Biodiesel Board, said: “General Motors is a shining example of a company that is getting it right by continuing to invest in new technology diesel engines to meet consumer demands for powerful, clean and fuel-efficient vehicles capable of running on clean, renewable B20 biodiesel blends.  We applaud GM for its efforts, and look forward to partnering with you in your continued support for biodiesel as your diesel vehicle product line continues to expand.”

Made from an increasingly diverse mix of resources such as soybean oil, recycled cooking oil, and animal fats, biodiesel is a renewable, clean-burning diesel replacement that can be used in existing diesel engines.

In a statement, the National Biodiesel Board said: “It is the first and only commercial-scale fuel produced across the US to meet the EPA’s definition as an Advanced Biofuel - meaning the EPA has determined that biodiesel reduces greenhouse gas emissions by more than 50% when compared with petroleum diesel. Americans used over 2.1 billion gallons of biodiesel last year. “