February 28, 2006

Bio-diesel car rental opens in world’s car capital

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A company offering rental cars
powered entirely by bio-diesel set up shop in Los Angeles on
Tuesday, hoping to bring the aroma of popcorn and doughnuts to
the city's smoggy freeways.

Just one snag -- there is only one place in town to fill

Bio-Beetle Eco Rental Cars, which started out on the
Hawaiian island of Maui three years ago, opened for business
near Los Angeles International Airport with four cars fueled by
filtered vegetable oil.

"I've always wanted to come to Los Angeles," said founder
Shaun Stenshol. "California is known as an environmentally
friendly state and LA is the car capital of the world. What
better place to do bio-diesel than Los Angeles?"

"As far as bio-diesel rental cars, I don't know of anyone
else doing it in the world," said Stenshol, a former Greenpeace
worker and environmental activist.

Bio-diesel costs $3.45 a gallon -- about $1 more than
regular gas -- but the cars get between 400 and 800 miles per
tank. There is only one place where customers can fill up but
Stenshol said he hoped to help set up other refueling stations
in the Los Angeles metro area.

"There are people who say it smells like popcorn, or French
fries or doughnuts. But to me it is just a pleasant tang," said