Car to drive across USA on one tank of renewable diesel

Posted on 18 Jun 2015 by Tim Brown

A team of motoring entrepreneurs is setting off next week to drive 2,400 miles from the Atlantic Coast of Florida to the Pacific Coast of California on just one tank of renewable fuel.

The trip, which will take place from June 21-26, 2015, will be made possible by NEXBTL renewable diesel that is produced from bio-based raw materials by Neste, the world’s largest producer of renewable diesel.

“Americans have a long tradition of taking cross-country road trips, sometimes aiming for speed records, sometimes just making a leisurely jaunt,” said Kaisa Hietala, executive VP, renewable products at Neste.

“One team is taking a different approach to this long-distance challenge: drive coast-to-coast on one tank of fuel that is made of completely bio-based raw materials. We believe this may be a first time for this type of trip”,

Superlite Coupe powered by a VW engine

The car being used is a Superlite Coupe (SLC) which is custom-built by CLP motorsports. It has the aerodynamics necessary for maximum efficiency at speed, which is enhanced by a lightweight aluminum monocoque chassis and fiberglass body. The SLC has all of the handling of a race car, but it is street legal and is powered by a modified Volkswagen 1.9L TDI diesel engine.

The car’s fuel tank has been modified to fit close to 50 gallons (200L) but, using the NEXBTL fuel, the car is capable of achieving an impressive 75 miles per gallon. That is about 33% better than an average diesel Golf.

NEXBTL renewable diesel – a high-performing low carbon biofuel

According to Neste, its NEXBTL renewable diesel can replace petroleum diesel on a drop-in basis due to having the same chemical properties as the ultra-low sulfur diesel. It can also reduce carbon dioxide emissions compared to conventional diesel by as much as 90% over its lifecycle.

NEXBTL is fully compatible with all diesel engines and delivers better performance because it has higher cetane and burns more completely than petroleum diesel. NEXBTL is not the same product as biodiesel (FAME).

Neste provides NEXBTL renewable diesel to US refiners, blenders, and fuel distributors. NEXBTL is also available to consumers at retail stations in Northern California.

Race car and stunt driver Tanner Foust joins a team of motorsport enthusiasts

The Across the USA drivers Pat O'Keefe,, Luke Lonberger and Michael von Disterlo will be joined by Tanner Foust for the final leg - image courtesy of Neste.
The Across the USA drivers Pat O’Keefe,, Luke Lonberger and Michael von Disterlo will be joined by Tanner Foust for the final leg – image courtesy of Neste.

Tanner Foust, four-time X Games gold medal winner, three-time US Rallycross champion and two-time Formula Drift champion is to join the Across the USA challenge.

“I’m really excited about the next project I’m doing. It is NEXBTL renewable diesel and we are driving across the entire US with one tank of fuel. It will be an amazing trip”, said Tanner Foust.

Other drivers are Pat O’Keefe, vice president of Golden Gate Petroleum and owner of CLP Motorsports, Luke Lonberger, an experienced motorsports driver and general manager at CLP Motorsports, and Michael von Disterlo , a lead mechanic at CLP Motorsports.

Foust will join drivers O’Keefe, Lonberger and Disterlo on the final leg to Los Angeles.

2,400 miles and through eight states

The Across the USA drive will start on Sunday the 21st of June. The SLC car will drive across the United States on Interstate 10, the fourth-longest transcontinental highway in the U.S., which is more than 2,400 miles long. It runs through eight states, starting in Atlantic Beach, Florida, and ending on the Pacific Coast in Santa Monica, California.