July 7, 2022

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Booster made renewable fuels accessible in ways that gas stations can’t

Booster made renewable fuels accessible in ways that gas stations can't

The booster delivers fuel directly to the vehicle fleet.

Courtesy: Booster Fuels Inc.

Fuel delivery start-up Booster has made its name filling passenger cars while parked in the office. but after corona virus disease pandemic With many switching to remote work, Booster CEO Frank Mycroft says the company has ramped up its business of refueling commercial vehicle fleets so drivers are ready to go the moment they begin the shift.

To grow this business and offer more renewable energy options to customers, Booster has raised nearly $125 million in a new project funding round led by Rose Park Advisors, along with energy and project companies including Mitsubishi Corp. and Renewable Energy Group, Maveron, Madrona Venture Group, and others.

Matt McElwain, managing director at Madrona, told CNBC that he expects Booster to expand geographically with this capital. “The partnerships and committed contracts they already have will take them to an incredible range,” the investor said. He also believes that a public offering could be possible for Booster in the next two to three years if the company performs as expected.

Mycroft says some of the funding will also go to research and development. Booster is working on ways to recharge fully electric vehicles, including buses and delivery vans, wherever they are parked — even in dirt places far from any charging infrastructure.

Mycroft says that charging electric vehicles should evolve into a big business for Booster over time, but many companies today can’t convert their fleets to battery-electric models, or the battery-electric vehicles they want to buy aren’t even available.

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The Tesla For example, semi-heavy work has been delayed several times with the expectation of series production Starting in 2023. And Rivian Recently he warned investors They may not be able to deliver thousands of electric trucks as Amazon promised due to a legal battle with a supplier.

Currently, Booster is convincing customers with conventional diesel-burning trucks to try renewable diesel, biodiesel made from spent cooking oil or another vegetable blend. Mycroft acknowledges that alternative fuels like these generate tailpipe emissions, but they generally have about a third of the carbon footprint of conventional fossil fuels.

Since renewable biodiesel cannot be pumped through the same lines that go to gas stations, Booster is key to distribution, says Steve Jeskos, managing director at Rose Park Advisors, one reason energy companies are keen to partner with the startup. .

Since fuel prices went up this following year Russia’s brutal invasion of UkraineBiodiesel, renewable diesel and other “drop-down” fuels are proving that prices are competitive, Mycroft says. The national average for regular unleaded gas hit a record $4.60 a gallon, according to the AAA as of Wednesday.

While Mycroft is self-aware and does not describe his company as a pure climate solution, the CEO says he is looking for every opportunity to reduce the negative impacts of transportation on the environment, and to help communities adapt to the climate.

For example, during a widespread blackout in Texas last February, Booster plugged in fuel to keep fire trucks running, and generators running for as long as the grid was down. In preparation for California wildfire season, Booster is now training drivers in his home state on how to quickly refuel fire trucks used by Cal Fire.

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“Emergency response is, unfortunately, another growing part of our business,” Mycroft said.

United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recommend “Significant reduction in fossil fuel use, large-scale introduction of electricity, improved energy efficiency, and use of alternative fuels,” in order to reduce human-caused global warming, increasing the intensity and frequency of extreme weather events.