100,000-Mile Evaluation of Transit Buses Operated on Biodiesel Blends (B20)
Nine identical 40-ft. transit buses were operated on B20 and diesel for a period of two years - five of the buses operated exclusively on B20 (20% biodiesel blend) and the other four on petroleum diesel. The buses were model year 2000 Orion V equipped with Cummins ISM engines, and all operated on the same bus route. Each bus accumulated about 100,000 miles over the course of the study. B20 buses were compared to the petroleum diesel buses in terms of fuel economy, vehicle maintenance cost, road calls, and emissions. There was no difference between the on-road average fuel economy of the two groups (4.41 mpg) based on the in-use data, however laboratory testing revealed a nearly 2% reduction in fuel economy for the B20 vehicles. Engine and fuel system related maintenance costs were nearly identical for the two groups until the final month of the study.