Canadian Consulting Engineer

Vancouver transitioning diesel fleet to renewable fuel

Entering into a new fuel contract with Suncor, all of Vancouver's diesel vehicles will transition to 100% renewable diesel.

August 14, 2018  CCE

The City of Vancouver has taken a step towards achieving its goal of using 100% renewable energy sources by entering into a new fuel contract with Suncor whereby all of the City’s diesel vehicles will transition to 100% renewable diesel, reducing emissions to 50% below 2007 levels by the end of next year.

“This new contract concretely demonstrates our commitment to greening our operations and deriving 100% of our energy from renewable sources,” says Jerry Dobrovolny, General Manager of Engineering Services with the City of Vancouver. “This shift in fuel, in conjunction with the ways we are optimizing and electrifying our fleet, proves that we are walking the talk and finding innovative ways to respond to climate change and its devastating impacts.”

Transitioning 55% of the City fleet from 5% biodiesel content to a 100% renewable diesel fuel source allows the City to counteract harmful environmental effects through lower emissions and cleaner energy.

Shifting its diesel to a 100% renewable energy source also enables Vancouver to achieve ambitious goals from its Renewable City Strategy and Greenest City Action Plan. The Renewable City Strategy encourages the City to elevate its purchasing power to accelerate the adoption of renewable energy and recognizes that, due to its large fleet, a shift in fuel provider will result in a significant emissions reduction.


The Greenest City Action Plan sets a 2030 target of a 50% reduction in emission from City operations over 2007 levels. With the planned implementation of 100% renewable fuel in the diesel fleet, this target will be achieved next year.

Both biodiesel and renewable diesel can be produced from waste organic feedstock such as waste fats and used vegetable oils. However, renewable diesel refines the organic feedstock into an end product that is certified to the same standard as petroleum diesel, allowing renewable diesel to be used in blends of up to 100% without any issues.

Vancouver also uses compressed natural gas (CNG) for 8% of its fuel use, operating a dedicated natural gas compression station that allows for City vehicles (including 33 refuse trucks) to be operated on 100% CNG.

To learn more about Vancouver’s commitment to greening its fleet, watch this video:

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1 Comment » for Vancouver transitioning diesel fleet to renewable fuel
  1. Nick Carter P. Eng. says:

    Biodiesel has proven to be troublesome where it has to be stored for extended periods, in particular for emergency generators. The use of “renewable diesel” has been suggested as the solution; however, the supply was limited and expensive (being imported from Scandinavia we were told).
    Considering this article I’m wondering if it will now be produced in Canada.
    Can you advise:
    1. Will “renewable diesel” will be readily available across Canada?
    2. If not where will it be readily available?
    3. What is the cost premium (approx % increase) over #2 diesel?

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