A few months ago, I grabbed one of those “closest you can get without a blue tag” spots in front of Whole Foods. When I got out of my car, one of the cart-collecting Whole Foods guys asked me how I liked my car, which is a VW Golf TDI. I told him I was very happy with it, and I especially loved averaging 380 miles between fill ups.
“Is it bio?” He said.
“No,” I said, “I didn’t even know you could get bio-diesel in Los Angeles.”
“You can,” he said, “but it’s just at this one place in downtown.”
“Oh,” I said, “Well, if I’m ever down there, I’ll check it out.”
Bio-Beetle Eco Rental Cars, which started out on the Hawaiian island of Maui three years ago, opened for business near Los Angeles International Airport with four cars fueled by filtered vegetable oil.
“I’ve always wanted to come to Los Angeles,” said founder Shaun Stenshol. “California is known as an environmentally friendly state and LA is the car capital of the world. What better place to do bio-diesel than Los Angeles?”
“As far as bio-diesel rental cars, I don’t know of anyone else doing it in the world,” said Stenshol, a former Greenpeace worker and environmental activist.
So if you want to help out Mother Earth, and enjoy the novelty of driving a car powered by recycled vegetable oil, now you know what to do. And when ou need to fuel-up, you can go to one of two locations, (via LA Weekly)
Two types of biodiesel can be had in Los Angeles County: One percent petroleum B99 and an 80 percent petroleum/20 percent biodiesel blend called B20. (Sellers get tax breaks for that 1 percent petroleum, so you won’t find B100 unless you make it yourself.)
Fill up with B99 at a mobile fueling station, typically parked in a Culver City backlot, for around $3.46 a gallon. Consult the Biodiesel Co-op’s Web site at www.biodiesel-coop.org for dates and locations.
You can buy B20 at the pump at ITL’s Cudahy Fuel Stop (8330 Atlantic Ave., Cudahy, 323-562-3230). They’ll also sell you B99 in 5-gallon red buckets at $25 each, but call in advance to make sure they’ve got some.
One of the cool things about bio-diesel is that you can mix it with petro-diesel without harming your engine (it will put more deposits on your filters than petro will alone, though) so if you’re a diesel driving guy like me, and you have the urge to make your exhaust smell like donuts, you know where to fill up.
Photo Credit: Flickr user Matt Garland