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Renewable diesel (different from biodiesel)

irvinehomeowner

Well-known member
So I've been researching cars/truck etc and I noticed that diesels still have better fuel economy than their gas counterparts and even rivals Hybrids (the only reason I'm considering ICE is because there are no large EVs out yet).

I was at the Arco in Quail Hill and noticed that their diesel was something called R99 Renewable Diesel or Biomass Diesel.

After executing some Google-Fu, it turns out that Renewable Diesel is very interesting. It's made only from renewable sources like plant and animal fat and totally compatible with current diesel engines. It actually runs cleaner and has lower emissions than regular diesel and even biodiesel (basically a mix of bio and petroleum diesel).

Currently, most stations that provide it run the R99 flavor which incorporates 1% petroleum diesel due to some red tape but there are some 100% Renewable Diesel stations.

Does anyone else have a diesel vehicle and has tried Renewable Diesel?
 

daedalus

Well-known member
No answers here, but I'll know we're in a recession when gas is over $6/gallon and my coworkers start making "diesel" in their basements and garages again, like they did in '09.  "Why does Victor's car smell like french fries?"

Is there a cost benefit?  Mileage benefit?  Do OEMs have any issues with customers putting this stuff through their engines?  Personally, I'll start using it when Costco starts selling it.  I won't be going out of my way to save the planet when I'm getting 7-8 mpg, and I also won't be taking any extra risks with a $10k engine.
 

irvinehomeowner

Well-known member
Supposedly Costco is converting to Renewable Diesel.

It's more expensive than regular and bio but there are incentives that lower that cost so it's similar to the cost/gal of gas. As for mileage, diesel outperforms gas (just look at the mileage of any diesel full size truck or SUV vs the gas engine).

But, diesels are more expensive however I don't think they have precious metal cat converters so one less thing to worry about. :)
 

daedalus

Well-known member
irvinehomeowner said:
diesel outperforms gas (just look at the mileage of any diesel full size truck or SUV vs the gas engine).

True for cars, maybe.  We'll have to rely on real world (google) observations for my truck, since the EPA doesn't give it a rating, and they indicate a gas engine gets better mpg than a diesel, at least when not towing.  When loaded up, though, the diesel is where it's at.  I can triple my gross combined weight with a trailer in the back, and suffer only a 30% reduction in mpg, plus I can haul it all up the Sherwin Grade at car-like speeds.
 

irvinehomeowner

Well-known member
So my friend has diesel full size truck (crew cab) and I asked him about this. His reported MPG averages around 22. On the freeway for long road trips, it's in he 30s.

He doesn't know much about renewable diesel but is a proponent of the MPG of his diesel over gas.
 

daedalus

Well-known member
irvinehomeowner said:
So my friend has diesel full size truck (crew cab) and I asked him about this. His reported MPG averages around 22. On the freeway for long road trips, it's in he 30s.

He doesn't know much about renewable diesel but is a proponent of the MPG of his diesel over gas.
Maybe with a 3L V6.  MPG differences depend on the truck and the engine options.  The gas version of my diesel has better EPA ratings than what I see in the real world with my diesel, and the diesel gets much worse mpg than my 2 gassers.  No surprise, since the diesel weighs over 8000 lbs empty.  If you're buying it to commute in, then yeah, get the one with the best mpg.  If you actually need a truck to do trucky things, then downselect a small pool of models that meet your specific needs first, and then choose the one with the best mpg if that matters.  Unfortunately there wasn't a single truck that met all my needs, so I have more than 1 truck.
 

irvinehomeowner

Well-known member
@daedalus:

Having been looking into diesels the last few months, every single one outperforms a gas engine for the same truck... except for hybrid.

Which 2021/22 full size truck with a diesel option has a gas engine that has better EPA MPG ratings?

I compared the F-150, the Chevy Silverado 1500 and the Ram 1500. Tundra and Titan do not have diesel engine.
 

daedalus

Well-known member
irvinehomeowner said:
@daedalus:

Having been looking into diesels the last few months, every single one outperforms a gas engine for the same truck... except for hybrid.

Which 2021/22 full size truck with a diesel option has a gas engine that has better EPA MPG ratings?

I compared the F-150, the Chevy Silverado 1500 and the Ram 1500. Tundra and Titan do not have diesel engine.

I'm used to describing trucks as rated in carrying capacity (e.g., 1/2 ton, 3/4 ton, 1 ton, though it's a very antiquated system).  Crew cab, full size doesn't mean much.  All my trucks are crew cab and "full size".  For the ones you mentioned, I agree with you.  For my F350, not so much.  Like I said before, mine isn't even EPA rated, but the gas one is, and the #s are a fair bit better than what I measure in both city and highway.  Other than mpg, hell yeah the diesel  performs better!  I wanted the extra grunt to pull a heavy load with a good margin of safety.

All good choices.  I tried to buy either a Titan or a Tundra used some years ago before I figured out what I really needed.  But I'm always very picky with the options I want, and didn't get past a single test drive after several months of looking.  The Ram and the Nissan had the poorest resale values and a long bed with crew cab was the end of the rainbow I never saw for any 1/2 ton around here.  I like Nissans, but the Titan never put up great sales numbers, and their foray into diesel seemed a bit rushed.  The last thing you want to do is buy a soon-to-be orphan model.

Not sure what the diesel option runs these days, but at ~4 cents a mile difference in fuel cost, what's the breakeven?  The Ridgeline is a very nice truck, 4 wheel independent suspension, and if you get the top line model, you can also buy a self driving gizmo that is great for long road trips.  It ain't Tesla, but it's creepy enough as is.
 

irvinehomeowner

Well-known member
I missed your last comment... I test drove a Ridgeline... it's a great vehicle but not really a truck... it's the new breed of unibody car-like trucks like the Ford Maverick and the Hyundai Santa Cruz.

I've actually been looking for a diesel SUV but nobody makes them anymore. BMW and MBZ dropped their diesels and it looks like the Chevy Tahoe/Suburban might be the only "cheaper" ones around (if you can find any).

 
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