More than 2,000 ComEd diesel vehicles will now be using soy-based biodiesel, which is expected to cut air emissions by more than 290 tons each year. The biodiesel is blended with standard diesel fuel, and will cut ComEd’s use of standard diesel fuel by 20 percent.CHICAGO, Illinois – April 24, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] The 20 percent blend of biodiesel is the highest amount that can be run without impacting the vehicles’ manufacturers warranties. “This is something ComEd can do to help improve the environment and air quality for our customers and employees,” said Christopher Lyons, Director of Fleet Services. ComEd’s purchase agreement for 600,000 gallons of biodiesel represents approximately one-sixth of the entire consumption in the Midwest region and four percent of the U.S. consumption. ComEd will store and distribute the fuel at the company’s own terminals. It is not currently available at gas stations. “Ultimately, we hope our commitment to biodiesel will help drive down its cost, and encourage other companies in Northern Illinois to use it,” Lyons said. “We’d like to see enough interest generated that, at some point, major oil companies will offer biodiesel at the pump.” All ComEd vehicles using biodiesel will qualify as alternative-fuel vehicles. Previously, some ComEd vehicles had used biodiesel during the summer, but improvements in the fuel now make it possible to run a biodiesel blend in all of the company’s diesel vehicles throughout the year. Commonwealth Edison is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation, with more than US$15 billion in revenues and a customer base of five million. ComEd provides service to more than 3.4 million customers across Northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population.