New Vivaro and Movano are biofuelled for the future

Vauxhall chose the Commercial Vehicle Show to announce a trial of B30 (30% biodiesel, 70% diesel) with a key UK fleet client. The B30 compatible models use the existing 2.0 CDTI Vivaro and 2.5 CDTI 100 PS and 120 PS Movano engines.

Biodiesel use can offer substantial reductions in CO2 emissions and is therefore seen as a key ingredient in reducing CO2 emissions from transport. The exact CO2 reduction varies depending upon the feedstock used and the production and transportation of the fuel, but Vauxhall claims that B30 use reduces CO2 emissions by up to a substantial 20%.

As part of a controlled fleet trial, a number of vans will run on B30 across the country as GM and Vauxhall investigate the long-term potential of the fuel in the UK, and look towards a more widespread distribution network for it.

Vauxhall Managing Director, Bill Parfitt, said “fuel efficiency is already one of the top priorities for our commercial vehicle customers. Payload and duty cycles mean downsizing is generally not an option, so achieving further CO2 reductions becomes a real challenge. The introduction of biodiesel B30-compatible models to our van range is one way GM can help customers reduce their CO2 emissions on a ‘source to wheels’ basis and is part of General Motors’ wider commitment to alternative fuels and advanced propulsion systems – we’re very pleased to be the first manufacturer to fully trial the fuel in the UK.”

“Of course, governments have an important role to play as well, specifically in terms of ensuring the quality and wider availability of the fuel, and providing incentives to encourage customers to buy it.”

Vauxhall’s trial provides a welcome boost to B30 vans, with an increasing number of manufacturers now actively investigating and supporting its use. Renault is currently trialling B30 use in France, whilst all Citroen HDi vans are B30 compatible following extensive trials of the fuel in Brazil and France.

In the light of recent press coverage about rainforest destruction associated with some biofuel production, the next challenge is to ensure supplies of biofuel are from sustainable sources.