Matthew Thibert’s passion for alternative fuel technologies has lead him to spend the last few years contemplating the most practical applications for utilizing these fuels. Matthew converted his first vehicle to run on waste vegetable oil over ten years ago. Since then, he has converted numerous other vehicles, including his own Ford F250 which has logged over 15,000 trouble free miles.
Matthew, owner and head technician of Vineyard Alternative Auto in Vineyard Haven, was awarded a 2015 Vision Fellowship to create a waste vegetable oil cooperative and farm equipment conversion program. The cooperative will be a member-controlled, sustainable and cost-effective way to decrease fossil fuel usage while ensuring that the farmers’ daily activities continue with as little disruption or additional work as possible. Matthew will work collaboratively with Morning Glory Farm and Mermaid Farm and anticipates the creation of a high functioning model that will deliver significant fuel savings to farmers. Matthew hopes this project will spark a larger discussion of the long term viability of our food system and its current dependence on fossil fuels. His future areas of interest for research and development include wood gas powered tractors and trucks, electric powered utility trucks and expanding the use of draft animals.