Prince George’s County to Spearhead Environmental Justice Initiative with Launch of B100 Transit Pilot

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For immediate release: 

April 15, 2024 


For more information, contact: 

Nia T. Brown 

Public Information Officer  

Department of Public Works and Transportation  

Ntbrown@Co.Pg.Md.Us | Cell: (240) 968-7135 


Prince George’s County to Spearhead Environmental Justice Initiative with Launch of B100 Transit Pilot


LARGO, MD — On January 31, 2024, Prince George’s County teamed up with Optimus Technologies and Chevron REG to announce the launch of an exciting new transit project, the 100% Biodiesel (B100) Transit Pilot Program. This initiative, made possible by support from the Maryland Energy Administration’s (MEA) OPEN grant program, is a major step forward for environmental justice, emission reductions, and decarbonization in underserved communities in our region.


The program aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions right away. It uses the Optimus Vector System, an advanced fuel system upgrade, to power buses with B100 biodiesel. This system can also cut CO2 emissions by over 90%. In addition to biodiesel buses, electric buses will be used for certain routes. Instead of relying solely on diesel for longer routes, Prince George’s County views the use of B100 biodiesel as an opportunity to achieve significant carbon emissions reductions, with a minimum reduction of 75% per gallon compared to diesel.


The Department of Public Works and Transportation (DPW&T) and Office of Central Services (OCS) are leading Prince George’s County’s B100 pilot effort. Prince George’s County operates 3,500 vehicles, and the success of this pilot has the opportunity to lead to the County transitioning 375 current diesels to B100. Since these vehicles are currently operating on diesel fuel, the use of B100 will reduce their carbon emissions by over 75% immediately.

Potentially, the County could reduce its direct carbon emissions by 44,858 metric tons annually and about 450,000 metric tons over the course of 10 years.


Michael Johnson, Director of DPW&T, credits the B100 Pilot Project as part of the Transit Transformation Initiative. “The Department of Public Works and Transportation is committed to creating a comprehensive, integrated multi-modal transportation network accessible to everyone,” said Johnson. “During the project’s implementation, we will continue to work with our critical regional partner, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority (WMATA). In addition to pursuits with local transit systems, TheBus and Call-A- Bus, the Transit Transformation initiative is projected to prioritize transit performance, enhance accessibility to jobs, schools, and essential services, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”


Colin Huwyler, the CEO of Optimus Technologies, the manufacturer of the Vector System, expressed enthusiasm stating “I am thrilled to see the expansion of our Vector System Technology to use B100 in Prince George’s County’s transit fleet. This demonstrates the practicality and success of using biodiesel to drive positive change in local communities. Prince George’s is the first County government using the technology for transit bus applications and is setting the standard for other transit fleets to follow."


Jon Scharingson, Director of Strategic Initiatives for Chevron Renewable Energy Group, highlighted the pivotal role of forward-thinking leaders and collaborative funding in propelling this initiative forward. "The expanded use of B100 in Prince George’s County showcases the momentum of fleets recognizing that they must move toward reducing carbon emissions today rather than waiting for the electric vehicle technologies of tomorrow. This progress wouldn’t have happened without the help of programs like Maryland Energy Administration’s OPEN grant. Chevron REG is proud to be contributing to this effort."


The MEA’s OPEN grant program has been instrumental in bringing this project to life. By supporting visionary leaders in Prince George’s County, the grant enables the implementation of sustainable solutions tailored to Environmental Justice (EJ) communities. This investment not only reduces emissions but also promotes cleaner transit options, fostering a healthier and more equitable environment for all residents.


County officials have highlighted the environmental justice benefits of this grant, emphasizing its significance in emission reduction and equity advancement within underserved communities. The B100 Transit Project Stands as a testament to the County's commitment to addressing environmental challenges and leading the way towards a greener, more sustainable future.


For more information about the B100 transit pilot and the grant's impact, contact Efon Epanty at