Willie. Love's. Biodiesel.

| 8/2/2005

In 1982, Willie Nelson sang his version of the hit song “Always on My Mind” for the first time. Twenty-five years later, it seems like biodiesel is all he can think of.

In mid-July, Nelson partnered with Love’s Travel Stops to distribute his signature alternative fuel – Willie Nelson Biodiesel – at a truck stop in Midlothian, TX.

“We started talking with a representative of an organization that Willie Nelson set up with regards to the concept of biodiesel several months ago,” said Jenny Love Myer, spokesperson for Love’s. “One thing led to another, and we began selling it about a week ago at a location near Dallas.”

In December 2004, Nelson and three partners – Peter Bell, Monk White and Carl Cornelius, namesake of Carl’s Corner Truck Stop near Dallas, TX, where the so-called BioWillie was first sold – started the company that manufactures a B20 biodiesel blend. It is 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent standard diesel.

Nelson and his partners also offer above-ground tanks to fuel retailers, so sales can begin without the expensive addition of separate underground tanks.

Love Meyer said the partnership is a trial run at offering the product, but so far, sales have been good.

“It’s doing pretty well,” Love Meyer said. “At that location a third of their total diesel volume is biodiesel, the BioWillie brand.”

Love Meyer said the product’s ease of use in conventional diesel trucks has made for a smooth transition.

“That’s part of the beauty of this,” she said. “(Truckers) can just pump it into their truck and drive away. There’s nothing that they need to do to prepare it.”

Love Meyer – daughter of the travel plaza chain’s founder – said there are no definite plans to expand BioWillie fuel beyond the Midlothian plaza, but that Love’s would consider it if supplies and consumer demand warranted it.

“We’re just kind of experimenting with this and seeing what happens,” Love Meyer said. “Obviously, the timing is right, with the fuel prices as high as they are.”

– By Aaron Ladage, staff writer