Biodiesel conversion does not void OEM warranties, Optimus Technologies CEO confirms

Pxl 20231218 211247863 Headshot
Optimus Technologies' biodiesel conversion kit
The Optimus Technologies bolt-on upgrade kit enables the use of 100% biodiesel, also known as B100 in unblended form, in diesel-powered trucks. The installation and use will have no impact on vehicles' OEM warranties.
Clean Trucking

Optimus Technologies, the manufacturer of a biodiesel conversion bolt-on upgrade for heavy diesel trucks, has confirmed to Clean Trucking that the installation and usage of this technology will not impact the vehicle’s original OEM warranty.

The upgrade allows for the use of 100% biodiesel, also known as B100 in unblended form, in a diesel engine that normally requires petroleum diesel. 

"The use of higher biodiesel blends does not automatically void the OEM warranty,” Optimus CEO Colin Huwyler said. “However, the OEMs retain the right to investigate any warranty claims and failures determined to be resulting from biodiesel use will not be covered under warranty. Additionally, Optimus provides $50k of supplemental warranty per engine that covers the cost of any failures caused by the Optimus fuel system.” 

Keeping the OEM warranty intact will help alleviate concerns from fleets and owner operators who might be considering switching to biodiesel, a pure fuel that can be a net zero-emission fuel. This allows for decarbonizing without having to invest in battery-electric or hydrogen fuel cell vehicle alternatives at this time. 

Biodiesel is a liquid fuel defined as a renewable fuel because it’s derived from biological sources like animal fats, vegetable oils, and even recycled restaurant grease. According to the Department of Energy, biodiesel meets both the biomass-based diesel and overall advanced biofuel requirement of the Renewable Fuel Standard. Like petroleum diesel, biodiesel is used to fuel compression-ignition engines. However, biodiesel has a 100% carbon reduction compared to fossil-based diesel. 

Renewable diesel, another increasingly popular petroleum diesel clean alternative, is similar but not the same as biodiesel. Renewable diesel is a pure hydrocarbon diesel fuel that is chemically similar to fossil diesel. It’s also known as Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) fuel. Biodiesel, in contrast, is a Fatty Acid Methyl Ester (FAME) product which is not a hydrocarbon.

A May 2022 American Transportation Research Institute Study noted that biodiesel produces 2.5 times less CO2 than an electric vehicle. 

Partner Insights
Information to advance your business from industry suppliers

Additional biodiesel benefits, according to Optimus, is that biodiesel does not require additives and it increases engine lubricity. Furthermore, it decreases particulate matter in the engine and the aftertreatment system, and provides a much higher cetane value than petroleum diesel. Extreme weather, such as heavy snow and cold temperatures, has not impacted vehicle performance, idling, and starting. 

According to the 2024 State of Sustainable Fleets market report, the average price of diesel dropped 12% to $3.32 per gallon while the price of the most commonly used biodiesel blend, B20, dropped by 9% to $3.25 per diesel gallon equivalent (DGE). 

These factors have made biodiesel an attractive choice for fleets and operators who want to immediately move towards greater sustainability without having to make significant investments.

“Approximately 80% of our current business is integrating the technology into new purchase trucks through ship-thru or OEM arrangements,” Huwyler added.

Optimus co-founder and head of engineering & production, Jon Ewing, also told us at the ACT Expo that the company is currently developing the Detroit diesel 15-liter platform to accommodate the bolt-on upgrade. It is already available for all of the Cummins platforms from the 6.0-liter up to the 15-liter. 

Jay Traugott has covered the automotive and transportation sector for over a decade and now serves as Senior Editor for Clean Trucking. He holds a drifting license and has driven on some of the world's best race tracks, including the Nurburgring and Spa. He lives near Boulder, Colorado, and spends his free time snowboarding, climbing, and hiking. He can be reached at [email protected].

Hydrogen Fuel Cell & BEV Survey
The following survey was sent as a link in an email cover message in February 2023 to the newsletter lists for Overdrive and CCJ. After approximately two weeks, a total of 176 owner-operators under their own authority, 113 owner-operators leased or assigned to a carrier and 82 fleet executives and 36 fleet employees from fleets with 10 or more power units had completed and submitted the questionnaire for a total of 407 qualified responses. Cross-tabulations based on respondent type are provided for each question when applicable.
View Infogram