Green Diesel Maker Takes on Last-Mile Hurdle With Fuel Delivery
(Bloomberg) -- Renewable Energy Group Inc., a top green diesel maker, is taking a minority stake in California-based Booster, a startup that delivers fuel straight to vehicles via big purple trucks.
REG is seeking to bypass the “last mile” hurdle of reaching customers that otherwise might not have easy access to its climate-friendly fuels, either because of the need for costly on-site infrastructure or a lack of nearby gas stations that offer the product. The biofuels industry has long pushed for policies to address such obstacles.
Reaching locations that historically might have been out of reach could “speed up adoption of low-carbon fuels,” Bob Kenyon, REG’s senior vice president of sales and marketing, said in a phone interview. “It’s a fundamentally new way of doing business.”
Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. The REG-Booster service will start out focused on fleet customers in California’s Orange County and San Francisco Bay Area, and additional markets will follow, according to a joint statement from the companies.
Booster serves commercial fleet customers, such as Enterprise Rent-A-Car Co., as well corporate campuses, individual consumers and municipal clients. Filling tanks while drivers are off duty saves companies time and makes supply chains more efficient, according to Booster Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Frank Mycroft.
Fuel delivery can be a critically important resource if traditional pipelines go down or during natural disasters like wildfires, hurricanes, according to Mycroft. It’s also a way to “side step” more than a decade of feuding between biofuel producers and fossil fuel companies over blending rules, he said.
“It’s like an easy button for going renewable,” he said.
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