Propel debuts cost-competitive renewable diesel in California

March 18, 2015 |

PropelDieselHPR_Handle3600x2400Neste’s cost-competitive, advanced, drop-in renewable diesel to be deployed at 18 Propel stations in California.

All the renewable attributes, and the same price at the pump.

In California, Propel Fuels has launched California’s most advanced diesel fuel: Diesel HPR (High Performance Renewable) at Propel locations across Northern California. Propel’s Diesel HPR uses Neste Oil’s NEXBTL renewable diesel, a low-carbon renewable fuel that meets petroleum diesel specifications for use in diesel engines while realizing the benefits of better performance and lower emissions.

Answers for your questions.

  • Cost competitive? Yes, this is. Today it is selling for $2.89/gallon at the Sacramento station, traditional diesel was $3.09 at the same station – Propel will continue to sell Diesel HPR at a price competitive with diesel and biodiesel.
  • Fully renewable? This fuel is 98% renewable, 2% conventional – full fuel spec sheet available here.
  • What does it replace? Propel is now selling Diesel HPR in place of the biodiesel blends they have sold previously (mainly B20).

Diesel HPR will be available at 18 Propel locations in Sacramento, San Jose, East Bay, Redwood City and Fresno. Locations, directions and real time pricing can be found on Propel’s mobile app available in the Android and Apple app stores. A complete list of locations is also available here.

With 43 Flex Fuel & 36 advanced diesel locations across California and Washington State, Propel “provides new fuel choices that are higher in performance, deliver better value and create healthier communities,” the company notes.


Diesel HPR meets the toughest specifications required by automotive and engine manufacturers, enabling the fuel to be used by any diesel vehicle. Diesel HPR is designated as ASTM D-975, the standard for all ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel in the U.S., and is recognized as “CARB diesel” by the California Air Resources Board. Diesel HPR provides increased engine power and torque, as well as significant reduction in harmful tailpipe emissions, NOx emissions and particulates (PM), and California Air Resources Board studies show that renewable diesel can reach up to 70 percent greenhouse gas reduction compared to petroleum diesel.

Back in 2013, Propel was at the heart of another successful fuel launch when sales grew by 35 percent at Propel stations offering SoladieselBD in a B20 blend, during a 30-day retail pilot program, compared to non-test sites.The pilot was conducted at Propel’s Clean Fuel Points in Redwood City, San Jose, Berkeley, and Oakland. In addition, a follow-on consumer preference study with Propel’s customers found 92 percent of participants noted that they would be more likely to purchase algae-derived fuel for its environmental benefits; 70 percent indicated that they would purchase the fuel more frequently if it were derived from algae; and nearly 40 percent of customers indicated they would pay a premium for algae-derived fuel.

Last week, we reported in the Digest that Neste Oil produced nearly 1.3 million tons (more than 420 million gallons) of renewable fuel from waste and residues in 2014. In practical terms, this is enough to power for two years all the 650,000 diesel-powered passenger cars in Finland with renewable NEXBTL diesel manufactured from waste and residues.

Reaction from the stakeholders

“Diesel HPR exceeds conventional diesel in power, performance and value,” said Rob Elam, CEO and Co-Founder of Propel. “Propel is committed to offering Californians the most advanced low carbon fuels that meet our high standards for quality and value.”

“This renewable diesel joins a growing suite of new, cleaner transportation fuels in California thanks to our Low Carbon Fuel Standard and forward thinking companies like Propel,” said California Air Resources Board Chairman Mary D. Nichols.

“We are pleased to see the introduction of a low carbon fuel at California retail fueling stations,” said Tim Olson, Energy Resources Manager for the California Energy Commission. “Our state needs several options to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector and this cooperation between Propel Fuels and Neste Oil provides a tremendous opportunity to de-carbonize diesel fuel and help achieve our climate change goals.”

“As California continues to lead the world in clean fuels, we need to insure that the benefits are shared by everyone. Renewable diesel provides significant immediate reductions in emissions that damage our health and change our climate, providing lasting health benefits for the disadvantaged communities that currently suffer the most from petroleum diesel pollution,” says Bill Magavern Policy Director for the Coalition for Clean Air.

“We congratulate Propel Fuels on their initiative to introduce Diesel HPR to consumers in California and are excited to be their supplier of choice with our NEXBTL renewable diesel,” said Kaisa Hietala, Neste Oil’s Executive Vice President of Renewable Products Business Area. “NEXBTL renewable diesel reduces emissions as well as enhances engine performance leading to lower maintenance and service costs. It also has excellent low-temperature properties which result in better vehicle reliability during the winter,” continues Hietala.

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