City of Ames Grows Sustainable Fleet with Partners Renewable Energy Group and Optimus Technologies
Municipal Fleet Adds Seven Additional Heavy-Duty Trucks Running on 100% Biodiesel
Ames, Iowa- The City of Ames is adding seven new all-purpose dump trucks to their fleet that have the Optimus Technologies advanced fuel system integrated into their new vehicle specification. The Optimus system enables the engines to operate year-round on 100% biodiesel (B100) produced by Renewable Energy Group (REG).
This announcement comes after a successful pilot was conducted with five City-owned trucks throughout 2020, meaning soon the City will have 12 total trucks running on B100. The City of Ames is eager to get more trucks on the road that reduce carbon emissions and provide cleaner air for its residents.
Biodiesel is a cleaner alternative to petroleum diesel and is a readily available, sustainable solution for fleets. Suitable for use in any diesel engine, biodiesel can be adopted starting at blends of 20 percent, or B20, all the way up to 100 percent (B100). Biodiesel is considered an advanced biofuel by the EPA because it reduces greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by more than 50 percent. REG biodiesel reduces GHGs by up to 86 percent compared to diesel fuel.
At the direction of the Ames City Council, the City of Ames is looking at carbon reduction and long-term sustainability for all of its fleet purchases. The pilot project using Optimus’ Vector System, combined with REG’s B100 biodiesel, provided a tremendous opportunity to pursue a public-private partnership with widespread benefits through lower emissions.
“We undertook the B100 project because we wanted to be responsible stewards to our planet, to the environment,” Mayor John Haila says. “It’s a tremendous opportunity to make a big impact.”
Like petroleum diesel, biodiesel has the potential to gel in extremely cold temperatures. The Vector System is designed to enable trouble free use of biodiesel in all engines regardless of operating conditions. Even in the sub-zero operations the snowplows were subjected to while battling the harsh Iowa winter, the Vector System ensured that the vehicles performed flawlessly on biodiesel. One key feature of the Vector System is that it never inhibits the use of conventional diesel fuel; the system always starts and shuts down the engine on conventional diesel, operating on biodiesel only after the engine and fuel system achieve optimal operating conditions.
“Our drivers tested the Vector System in five City snowplows in below-zero temperatures during a big snowstorm,” said Rich Iverson, Fleet Support Manager for the City of Ames. “In one weekend, we used 1,000 gallons of B100 biodiesel and our drivers reported no issues in the trucks’ operations. Optimus’ Vector System certainly proved its abilities to perform at high standards.”
Although electrification options are beginning to emerge for light- and medium-duty applications, B100 biodiesel is an excellent and even lower-carbon alternative (on today’s electric grid), and is particularly well suited for heavy-duty fleets like the City of Ames that are committed to reducing their carbon output without sacrificing the performance of their fleet vehicles. When upgrading with Optimus’ technology, fleets are able to achieve significant environmental and performance benefits from their existing vehicles and infrastructure.
“It has been fantastic working with the City of Ames and their leadership,” said Colin Huwyler, CEO of Optimus Technologies. “They have set tangible sustainability objectives and by integrating the Vector System into their new vehicle equipment specifications, have demonstrated the decisive actions they are taking to reduce carbon emissions. After conducting a successful pilot on their snowplows, the City of Ames has validated that the Optimus technology provides a carbon reduction pathway for even the most severe-duty vehicles.”
The City’s five trucks already equipped with the Vector System will burn about 10 percent of the City’s total annual diesel consumption. By operating these five trucks with the Vector System the City of Ames will reduce its carbon intensity by 110 metric tons of CO2 from the atmosphere by the end of the year. With seven new Vector equipped trucks on order, REG and Optimus Technologies project this program will save well over 200 metric tons of carbon emissions in 2021.
“We are thrilled to provide biodiesel to the City of Ames for this initiative with Optimus Technologies,” said Jon Scharingson, Executive Director, Sales & Marketing for REG. “It’s not every day that we have the chance to work on a project in the city where we are headquartered. We are grateful to Mayor Haila, the City Council and the entire fleet team at the City of Ames for making this initiative a reality.”
About Optimus Technologies
Optimus Technologies is a clean energy technology company based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Optimus manufactures the Vector System, an advanced fuel system technology that enables diesel engines to operate on 100% biodiesel. The Vector System is designed for medium and heavy-duty fleet applications where emissions reductions are challenging or impossible to achieve in a cost-effective manner through other means. The Vector System integrates into existing operations to facilitate a seamless transition to low-carbon fuels.
Optimus’ Vector System is in use with leading municipal and private fleets throughout the country enabling them to achieve near-zero carbon emissions while reducing their fuel and fleet operating costs.
About City of Ames
Beneath the small town charm of Ames, Iowa, beats the heart of a much larger city. With a population of more than 65,000, Ames offers cultural, recreational, educational, business, and entertainment amenities more common in bigger metros. As a growing city, Ames continues to focus on building a strong community filled with opportunities for all. There are so many reasons that Ames, Iowa, is the Smart Choice!
In 2015, Ames was named one of the “15 Cities That Have Done the Best Since the Recession” by Bloomberg Business and one of the top 25 “Best Places for STEM Grads.” Ames ranked No. 8 by Niche Ranking for “Best Towns for Millennials in America.” Additionally, USA Today named Ames as the healthiest city in America!
About Renewable Energy Group
Renewable Energy Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: REGI) is leading the energy industry's transition to sustainability by transforming renewable resources into high-quality, cleaner fuels. REG is North America’s largest producer of biodiesel and an industry leading producer of renewable diesel. REG solutions are alternatives for petroleum diesel and produce significantly lower carbon emissions. REG utilizes a global integrated procurement, distribution and logistics network to operate 12 biorefineries in the U.S. and Europe. In 2019, REG produced 495 million gallons of cleaner fuel delivering over 4.2 million metric tons of carbon reduction. REG is meeting the growing global demand for lower-carbon fuels and leading the way to a more sustainable future.