While visiting London to check out a possible source for some biodiesel production equipment we might use, I came across a very interesting observation. It seems that 3 of 4 cars I see on the road here are all turbo-diesel vehicles. (Nice ones too, like the Audi A6, the Mercedes A190, or the 2007 VW Passat. We should be running some of the cars in the states that I see here.) Diesel fuel seems to be about the same price as gasoline here, currently around 97 pence/liter (about $3.70 /gallon).
Still, there appears to be absolutely no biodiesel available in the country. I cannot find it at a single pump, and those I ask about it either go “huh?”, or tell me that they’ve heard it’s coming sometime in the future. Amazing. Doesn’t that sound familiar? It’s the same thing we hear in the US. Considering how much of it there is in Germany, France, and other European countries, I was a bit surprised not to see it here this late in the game. I thought we were the only ones playing catchup.
To make it worse, they seem to have the same B.S. coming from the car manufacturers here as we do in the states. Check out the photo from the 2007 VW Passat TDI Wagon I rented during my trip here. Now, I got 43 MPG on this nice ride, but VW is up to it’s same old tricks by stating that you can’t run biodiesel in the vehicle or it will void the warranty. (Uh, except I’ve been running biodiesel in my 2005 passat for a year and a half with no fuel related wear problems). Sad.
Get with it folks. I can’t believe we’re in 2007 and STILL having to convince people that biodiesel is the right way to go. What exactly is the sign that you’re waiting for?