Ford Europe has announced that it has approved the use of Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) in Transit vans. HVO is a renewable diesel fuel that’s based on waste oils, including used cooking oil, that can be sourced from restaurants or home kitchens. HVO can replace conventional fossil fuels and can contribute to improvements in air quality.
Ford says that greenhouse gases can be reduced by up to 90 percent when using HVO in place of conventional diesel fuel. Vehicles that run Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil emit less NOx and particulates that other diesel vehicles because the fuel contains no sulfur or oxygen. There are commercial companies all across Europe that collect used cooking oil from restaurants, caterers, and schools to make the fuel. An EU initiative that is supported by the European Commission, called RecOil, is working to increase collections to boost biodiesel production, including more household collections.
HVO also incorporates waste animal fats and fish oil, helping diesel engines start more easily in low temperatures. Making renewable diesel fuel uses hydrogen as a catalyst making HVO both cleaner-burning than conventional biodiesel and giving it longer shelf life. Ford says that it thoroughly tested HVO in its 2.0-liter EcoBlue engine to make sure no modifications were needed to run the renewable fuel and that servicing would not be affected.
No further development of the fuel was required before it can be used in the latest Ford Transit van. HVO is available for purchase in select fuel stations in Europe, mainly in Scandinavia and the Baltic states, where it is offered in its pure form or blended with regular diesel. The fuel has been adopted by fleet operators in some markets to improve green credentials with fuel delivered in bulk by specialty suppliers. The good news for diesel-powered Ford Transit drivers is if they choose to use HVO and run out, the vehicle can be filled with conventional diesel with no issues from mixing the fuel in the tank. The Ford Transit was the third-best-selling vehicle in Europe in 2019.