One example would be the carmakers’ efforts to develop diesel engines that can run on fuel with a certain percent of biodiesel. The latest U.S. manufacturer to follow this pathway is General Motors, who announced that it will show support for a 20 percent blend of biodiesel (B20) in its diesel vehicles.
All GM 2011 model year Duramax 6.6 liter turbo diesel engines will support B20. This includes Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra, Chevrolet Express, and GMC Savana. GM therefore follows Ford and Chrysler, who have already shown support for B20, a series of developments that are of key importance to the biodiesel industry. The three automotive producers’ cars account for over 80 percent of the diesel light vehicles sold in North America.
"B20 capability in our new heavy-duty trucks is the latest addition to a growing number of alternate fuel options offered by General Motors," said Mike Robinson, Vice President, Environment, Energy and Safety Policy. "We are seeking different paths to fuel solutions in order to maximize efficiency, reduce emissions and minimize the dependence on petroleum."
The National Biodiesel Board together with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory have been testing B20 over the last five years to ensure the fuel’s compatibility in new diesel engines and after-treatment technology.