City of Wolverhampton Council is trialling the use of Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) to fuel its fleet as a way of reducing carbon emissions.

The trial, which involves different types of council vehicles, is aimed at exploring the use of HVO as an eco friendly fuel in place of diesel.

The HVO being used in the trial is made from 100% UK based renewable sources and has around 90% less carbon emissions than traditional diesel fuel. 

Data from the trial is currently being collected and initial results show that HVO consumption (miles per gallon) is similar to that of diesel, but the carbon emissions are around 90% reduced. 

The new low carbon fuel could be used in other diesel vehicles currently operated by the council as part of its commitment to climate action.

Under its 2028 net zero pledge, the council is working to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, including those produced by its vehicle fleet.

So far, it has introduced 34 ultra low emission vehicles and installed 31 chargers in its depots, but the HVO trial will show whether this fuel source could provide another environmentally friendly option.

No vehicle modifications have been required as part of the trial, as HVO is a direct ‘drop in replacement’ for diesel. 

Councillor Craig Collingswood, cabinet member for environment and climate change at City of Wolverhampton Council, said: “As a council, we provide a wide range of different services, many of which rely on vehicles. 

“We have committed to making the council net zero by the end of 2028 and we are constantly looking at how we can improve our efficiency and make the way we run our services as clean and green as possible.

“HVO is stable and renewable while significantly reducing carbon emissions. Not only is it a direct alternative for diesel with significantly lower carbon emissions, but it will also require no modifications to council vehicles.

“The initial results of the trial are encouraging and we’re looking forward to receiving and reviewing the full results. By taking this step, we are giving a significant demonstration of our climate action commitment.

“Climate change will have a huge impact on our lives and the lives of future generations of Wulfrunians, so we want to make sure we are investigating every possible avenue to provide a cleaner, greener city.”