18 Jan
Diesel vehicles are about to get much more efficient.

Biodiesel finds a home in New Zealand

While many of the discussions on fuel efficiency focus on petrol cars, there's just as much attention being paid to the development of new technologies for diesel vehicles as well. 

New Zealand trucks travelled 120 per cent further in 2013 compared to 2001.

With trucks dominating the country's diesel consumption, New Zealand's busy logistics industry is likely to benefit from any advancements in diesel technology. These developments are especially important for businesses that rely on fuel cards to keep their fleets operating efficiently, allowing them to travel and use less fuel doing so. 

According to the New Zealand Transport Agency, the distance trucks travel on the country's roads grew by 120 per cent between 2001 and 2013. As this likely resulted in an increase in the amount of fuel the industry requires, it's important that technology evolves to meet the sector's needs. 

Biodiesel set to make trucking more efficient

With electric powerplants still years away from being the dominant force on the country's roads, transport businesses need to be able to make the most of the technology they currently have access to. As diesel powered trucks likely to remain a constant feature in New Zealand, a more efficient fuel that is compatible with these vehicles will be an important step in preserving the cost-effectiveness of the industry.

This is where biodiesel comes in, representing a renewable alternative to one of the world's most common fossil fuels. Now, the substance has found a home in New Zealand, with Z constructing a plant that will enable the production and distribution of biodiesel in New Zealand. 

Based in Wiri, the plant will transform tallow – an inedible byproduct of the country's meat industry – into a fuel capable of powering some of New Zealand's largest road-going vehicles. At this stage, the plant is expected to be able to produce up to 20 million litres of biodiesel annually. 

According to Z's General Manager of Supply and Distribution David Binnie, the B5 diesel blend the plant will produce will be compatible with a range of different vehicles. 

"Z's B5 biodiesel is a 'drop in' fuel that doesn't require customers to do anything differently with their diesel vehicles because it meets the same strict fuel specifications as ordinary diesel," he explained. 

What are the benefits of biodiesel?

As a renewable fuel, biodiesel offers a range of environmental benefits. Once it becomes fully available to New Zealand fuel card users, it will enable them to noticeably reduce their impact on the environment. 

The US Department of Energy investigated the viability of the substance, finding that it boasts notable benefits for air quality as well as a dramatic reduction in harmful emissions. 

On top of this, the agency also discovered that in some cases it actually improves the way a diesel engine functions, as it can lubricate the internal components more effectively.