Sustainable Fuels at Yale

Yale Alternative Fuels Initiatives–past and present

All Yale Shuttles began running on a blend of Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD) and 20% Biodiesel (B20) in the academic year 2005/06. This resulted in a decrease in sulfur content from 500 parts per million (ppm) to 50 ppm and reduced Yale’s transportation based petroleum consumption by 20% or 20,000 gallons.

A student biodiesel initiative started in 2005 resulted in a partnership with Yale Transit to operate one Yale Shuttle on 100% biodiesel (B100), produced by converting vegetable oil waste from dining halls. This initiative showed that dining halls could provide enough B100 to produce 1,500 gallons of transportation fuel. The Yale Shuttle System uses 80,000-100,000 gallons of fuel per year.

The University currently has several hybrid (not including President Salovey’s own personal Prius!) vehicles in its’ fleet and continues to introduce new cleaner fuel technologies, such as adding an Electric Vehicle (EV) to the Facilities fleet in 2012 and an increasing number of compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles.

Of the 35 Zipcars (carshare vehicles) on campus, several are hybrids, and all Zipcars are among the most fuel-efficient cars available on the market today. Zipcars allow (on average) 50 members to share one car. Imagine the traffic congestion in New Haven if all those members had their own cars!

Research into available alternative fuel technologies to power the university’s shuttle system and other fleet vehicles is ongoing. Please check this page for new information as it becomes available.