Ford has taken another step towards sustainability by approving the use of the biofuel Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) in a select number of its new Transit vans in Europe.
HVO is a high-quality renewable diesel fuel made from vegetable oils and animal fats that is colourless, odourless and can technically be used in all diesel engines.
It's produced in the process of hydrogenation (i.e. treatment with hydrogen) and boasts a longer shelf life than regular diesel.
According to Greenea, the main difference between the HVO process and the production of regular biodiesel is that it uses hydrogen as a catalyst, rather than methanol.
Ford conducted testing on the latest Transit's 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel and found no engine modifications were required to use the fuel, and vehicle servicing was not affected.
“Enabling our vans to run on fuel made from waste, including used cooking oil, may sound far-fetched but using hydrotreated vegetable oil is, in fact, a very real way in which Transit drivers and fleet operators will soon be able to help everybody enjoy improved air quality,” Hans Schep, general manager of commercial vehicles at Ford Europe, said.
In a statement, Ford said HVO is available in select petrol stations throughout Europe (mainly in Scandinavia and the Baltic states) and is sold pure or as a blend with regular diesel.
Ford said drivers should not be concerned about limited supply given HVO can mix with conventional diesel in the Transit's tank "without causing problems".
HVO has been found to lower greenhouse gas emissions by up to 90 per cent compared to fossil diesel, and it also emits fewer nitrogen oxide emissions and particulates.