- About Us
The enterprise was started in 1999 while co-founder Edward (Ed) Beggs was completing an MSc in Environment and Management at Royal Roads University, Victoria, BC, Canada. The thesis was titled "Renewable oil fuels and diesel engines as components of sustainable system design".
The original company that was set up was called Neoteric Biofuels Inc., along with co-founder Henry Mackaay, a local machinist, and we were based in Westbank, BC (now called West Kelowna).
After the first year or so of operations, the opportunity arose for Henry to sell his shares to Craig Reece, of Berkeley, California. Ed and Craig operated Neoteric for several years, later re-branding as PlantDrive.
In 2007, we decided to operate semi-independently, in order to streamline operations, with Craig handling the US market via the plantdrive.com web site, and Ed handling Canada and all other non-USA sales via the plantdrive.ca web site.
In 2014, Ed re-purchased the US division from Craig, and Craig retired from the business, although we're still in contact on a regular basis, and still enjoy talking shop...oh, hi Craig!)
In 2015, this new Shopify-based web site was created, Ed is in charge of all operations, and the domain in use is plantdrive.com. All orders will now be processed via plantdrive.com for all countries. (As of February 2017, we have only one web site, which is now plantdrive.com). PlantDrive operates as a division of a parent company, NBT Building Products Ltd.
We've converted most diesel vehicles made up until 2006. As of 2007, diesels all received diesel particulate filters (DPF's), and these can pose a problem for use of vegetable oil fuels, especially Waste Vegetable Oil (WVO) aka Used Cooking Oil (UCO), so we've decided against taking on conversions of vehicles newer than 2006.
This obviously makes the 2006 and older vehicles desirable for those using UCO and encourages the preservation of those older vehicles, which dovetails nicely with sustainability goals. A well made diesel vehicle should last at least 20 years with good maintenance, so by the time these have really reached the end of their useful life, we will be well on the way to mass electrification of transportation, and PlantDrive will gradually become more focused on the conversion of marine and agricultural equipment, and diesel-engine based micro combined heat and power systems (mCHP).
In fact we believe strongly that one of the best ways to use WVO/UCO is in micro combined heat and power systems (mCHP) and to that end we are embarking on representing the products made by John Egenolf over at microcogen.ca so watch our blog for announcements on this, and the online store for the addition of those products.
We also believe that there is great potential for CO2 emission reduction in agriculture through the use of plant oil fuels, and on-farm or regional cold pressing of oils, with the co-product of protein rich press cake pellets being used as fodder for animals.
Oil can be cold pressed on-farm, with high quality small-scale cold presses, to the standard required for successful operation of the most modern engines (even those with diesel particulate filters or DPF's). This has been proven to be possible in work done in Europe, and we look forward to participating in bringing the necessary technology to farms in North America and elsewhere.
(Of course, this oil is more expensive than WVO/UCO, so the practice is of most interest to the growers of oilseeds themselves, for their own use, and this is why we do not actively pursue using this oil in the usual vehicle conversions of DPF-equipped car and truck engines for the present time. If diesel fuel becomes more expensive and cold-pressed oil from farms is available in surplus, then perhaps this will change in the future.)
Thank you to the dedicated plant oil fuel users who have supported our efforts for all these years. We look forward to continuing to serve your requirements, and those of people who are brand new to the concept. Plant oil fuels are one of the simplest, quickest and least expensive pathways to CO2-neutral fuels, and will continue to play a role in the shift away from fossil fuels. We will be here doing our part in this process.
- 1-Tank Kits: Mercedes up to 1999 (1)
- 2-Tank Kits: Generic (4)
- Consulting (1)
- Controllers, Sensors, Switches (4)
- Hoses, Clamps, Fittings (2)
- Hotfox (In-Tank Heater) (2)
- HotPlate FPHE's (2)
- Micro Combined Heat and Power (mCHP) (1)
- Oil Collection and Filtering (5)
- Pumps: Lift, Transfer, Circulate (5)
- Tanks (10)
- Valves (3)
- Vegtherms & Other 12V Heaters (2)
- VM2 Filters; Filter Elements (5)
- Welcome! (3)