Biodiesel in heavy duty vehicles. Strategic plan and vehicle fleet expermients


The project "Biodiesel in heavy-duty vehicles in Norway - strategic plan and vehicle fleet experiments" was carried out with financing from the ALTENER-programme in the European Commission DGXVII. Additional financing was obtained from the Norwegian Dept. of Transport and the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Administration

Biodiesel is a renewable raw material-based fuel, which can be used directly in diesel engines without larger modifications to the engines and vehicles. Hence biodiesel has a great advantage compared with other alternative motor-fuels. Biodiesel has been available for several years in Norway, but the use of the fuel has been minimal. This project has focused on the use of biodiesel in busses and other heavy-duty vehicles in Norway. The goal has in addition to generate knowledge of the barriers to biodiesel, also been to develop a model for strategic planning that can be used to overcome the main barriers.

As a background for developing a strategic plan for increased use of biodiesel, it has been important to generate knowledge of the national barriers for, and what national strategies exists for alternative fuels in general and biodiesel in particular. This is obtained through interviews with key personnel within national authorities and interest organisations. The barriers that the institutions consider the most important in relation to increased use of biodiesel are identified through the project. Barriers and strategies for overcoming the barriers within the branch organisation (National Federation of Transport Companies) for the bus companies are also included.

In order to generate more knowledge of the barriers, several fleet experiments with biodiesel have been conducted in the project. In connection with these, it has been important to identify barriers when driving and starting in cold winter temperatures and technical, environmental and health aspects of fuel- and additive-usage. The barriers in all the three company levels administration, driver and workshop personnel are identified through interviews in connection to the fleet experiments. The knowledge of the barriers is disseminated to the bus companies in the form of inputs into a company strategy. This is facilitated through the development of a handbook for use of biodiesel. In the handbook the barriers on company-level are identified, and in addition possible strategies that the bus companies can utilise to overcome the barriers.