A Big Step Closer to Converting Our Shuttle Fleet to Alternative Fuels
By Lee Broughton
Just last week our CEO Andy Taylor sat down with Mark Reuss, President of General Motors North America, to talk sustainability, biodiesel, electric vehicles and the future of mobility. It was an engaging, thought-provoking and, at times, humorous discussion. Video of that event is available here. (It’s nearly an hour long, so stay tuned for a highlights reel!)
We followed up on that discussion with an announcement about our ongoing commitment to alternative fuels. We updated our progress in converting our airport shuttle buses to 20 percent biodiesel (B20). I’m pleased to say that we’ve converted Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car airport shuttle buses to biodiesel in more than 50 North American markets, and we have converted all of our shuttle buses to biodiesel at airport locations within five miles of a biodiesel fueling station.
More than 70 percent of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car airport buses now run on biodiesel, with more than 20 percent on B20, and about 50 percent on 5 percent biodiesel (B5). By year end, our plans to replace older buses with new ones that are B20-compatible will increase the use of biodiesel to 80 percent of our shuttles.
According to the National Biodiesel Board, the environmental benefits of switching to biodiesel are plentiful. Some of the benefits we particularly like are:
an 86 percent reduction in greenhouse gases;
a 47 percent reduction in particulate matter emissions that have been shown to be a human health hazard; and
a 75 percent decrease in hydrocarbon emissions that contribute to the localized formation of smog.
As a result of this conversion effort, we‘ve been asked a natural question: Are we going to embrace only biodiesel? The answer is “no.” We move with the market, in response to our customers’ needs and make changes that we know are good for the environment and the bottom line. Right now, this means the majority of our fleet will run on biodiesel. But we also have 30 buses fueled by CNG in Southern California, and plan to add a total of 10 new CNG buses this year in Southern California and at the Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.
This focus on alternative-fuel shuttle buses is just one piece of our overall commitment to embrace, practice and promote sustainability. We know it benefits more than the environment. It’s good for our people, our customers and our business.