A few days ago I posted about tracking our personal finances as a way to decide whether we were going to jump into a diesel vehicle running on waste vegetable oil. While driving back from Kamloops today I noticed that gas was $1.29.9 a litre! Suddenly my round trips to Kamloops were costing a lot more!
We’ve been stepping up our efforts at education and have been looking at the easiest vehicles to convert to run on waste vegetable oil and trying to figure out how to make this project happen.
We happened across a vehicle called a Mutsubishi Delica; a truck chassis with a van body. It’s Japanese (of course) and…right hand drive. These vehicles are imported and are often 1994-1996 models with about 80,000 to 100,000 kms on them. We’ve seen them listed at dealers throughout BC for $8,000-$12,000. There’s even one for sale privately in Clearwater, just 32 km north of us!
I’ve contacted our friend Ed Beggs of Plant Drive and peppered him with questions regarding this particular vehicle. He owned one himself and spoke highly of them in terms of conversion. In fact, in all the reading we’ve done, almost without exception, reliable WVO conversion is noted as one of the postive attributes of this vehicle. Ed noted that the conversion kit for this vehicle would be in the neighbourhood of $600-$900 depending on how we do it. Conversion takes a handy, somewhat skilled person 2-4 days.
Interestingly, I spoke to my cousin Gerald R this evening and unbeknownst to me, he owned one himself, so I was able to pick his brain! He also owned a diesel Mercedes wagon, which, I believe is also a good candidate for conversion.
I’ve been reading up on what constitutes good waste oil, as we have a fast food restaurant in Barriere and I’d like to know we have a good source locally. It doesn’t appear to be difficult to filter the oil to be dumped in the vehicle and Canola oil is one of the best oils for WVO vehicles. Ed’s site has great information on how to approach restaurants to convince them to give you their used oil. He has found that since restaurants have to pay to have used oil removed, they are often very open to giving it away. And like most people, they think it’s neat, too.
We are thinking of selling the 2003 Frontier to fund this new/used vehicle purchase We only use this vehicle April to October and it is our least fuel efficient vehicle. We are tracking our fuel expenses monthly and it seems to be anywhere from $250 to $400…that doesn’t count March when I’ve been driving to Kamloops 2-3 times a week. $4800 in fuel in a year seems like good justification to keep pursuing this idea!!!
As always, we’ll keep you posted!