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SAN JOSE -- Will Rotten Robbie customers prefer environmentally friendly fuel when price isn't a factor?
To answer that, the Bay Area, Calif., convenience-store chain has been offering biodiesel at the same price as regular diesel at four locations for the past year as a test, according to a report in the San Jose Business Journal -- and the results show that biodiesel is slowly catching on.
The test stores are selling between 50 and 200 gallons of biodiesel a day, which is considerably less than the 200 to 20,000 gallons of regular diesel they sell, but it is still sufficient enough to keep the experiment going, according to Tom Robinson, president of Robinson Oil Corp., which owns 34 Rotten Robbie stores within about 100 miles of its San Jose headquarters.
Apparently, it all comes down to demand. Steve White, chief financial office for the chain recently told the Press Democrat that "we want to sell what the consumer wants. Changes like this are market-driven," he added. "If people stop buying biodiesel, we'll stop making it available."