The biodiesel section at the Alt Car Expo seemed to have highest level of enthusiasm and the most inquisitive minds visiting the booths. Just the name stimulates green thoughts, so it was no surprise that the area was often crowded with consumers wondering if they could take advantage of biodiesel fuels. The section was well staffed with representatives from biodiesel.org, greendepot.org and others.

There's a success story at Los Angeles Biodiesel Coop. Basically, the group "is in business to go out of business," according to Joseph Treves. Members join for $250, then have access to biodiesel in three locations. Mobile trailers are stocked with B99.9 and members fuel up on the honor system. The group's goal is to create enough interest in that locale that a regular gas station will start offering biodiesel. That's what happened on the west side of town, and now there are two stations selling biodiesel. So the LA group moved one of the trailers east near Dodger stadium. The trailers are also learning centers for biodiesel. All of the fuel comes from a California refiner and is fully taxed. Cost is $3.25 per gallon. Most of the members have older cars. Treves says he urges buyers of new diesels to do their own research on issues regarding warranty and vehicle durability. But he's been driving his VW on biodiesel for 12,000 miles without any problems, and says fuel economy is near-equal to petroleum diesel.


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