October 10, 2006 , St. Louis -

DaimlerChrysler will expand its promotion of clean, renewable biofuels by delivering each new 2007 Dodge Ram diesel pickup truck to owners running on biodiesel fuel.

Every Dodge Ram diesel coming off the assembly line at the company’s Fenton, Mo., north plant will be fueled with B5 — made with 5 percent clean, renewable diesel made from soybeans.

The Dodge Ram diesel is already approved for regular use with B5 fuel. “Delivering our diesel vehicles running on biodiesel is a first step in educating our customers about the advantages of this clean, renewable, American-made fuel,” said Deborah Morrissett, Vice President – Regulatory Affairs for DaimlerChrysler.

The Dodge Ram Heavy Duty 2500/3500 series diesel pickup trucks are powered by the 5.9-liter Cummins turbo-diesel engine. Beginning in January 2007, the vehicles will be built with the new Cummins 6.7-liter turbo-diesel engine and will meet all federal and state environmental standards.

More than 15,000 Jeep® Liberty CRD diesels have already been delivered to customers running on B5, a fuel comprising 5 percent biodiesel and 95 percent conventional diesel made from petroleum. And in early 2007, DaimlerChrysler will launch the Jeep Grand Cherokee CRD with 3.0-liter, common rail, turbo-diesel engine, which also will be fueled with B5 at the factory. These vehicles are also approved for regular use with B5 biodiesel fuel.

“DaimlerChrysler is on the leading edge of advanced diesel technology,” said Joe Jobe, CEO of the National Biodiesel Board, the industry’s nonprofit trade association. “We commend them for helping bring higher efficiency and renewable energy options to Americans. Their efforts will help America improve our energy situation, making us a safer, stronger nation.”

In addition to fueling each 2007 Dodge Ram diesel with B5, the company has approved the use of B20 — 20 percent biodiesel fuel — in the vehicle for commercial, government and military fleets. For this program, vehicles will require a supplemental fuel filter and must be used with fuel meeting the military’s quality requirements.

The experience gained in this test program will contribute toward finalization of a nationwide standard for B20 fuel. DaimlerChrysler is working with other automakers, suppliers, fuel refiners and distributors, customers and research organizations to develop a national B20 standard that could dramatically increase the use of this renewable fuel.

“In order for automakers to produce, sell and warranty biodiesel vehicles, a national B20 standard is critical,” Morrissett said. “We think allowing our fleet customers to use fuel made to current military specifications will accelerate the development of a national B20 specification for general use.”

The standard must be developed to allow manufacturers to use B20 in all of their vehicles, including the millions of diesel vehicles already on the road, as well as those built in the future, Morrissett said.

Biodiesel’s many benefits include:

  • Replaces petroleum-based diesel fuel, reducing the nation’s reliance on oil
  • Renewable
  • Made from crops grown in the U.S., supporting the U.S. economy
  • Reduces total greenhouse gas emissions
  • Reduces tailpipe emissions, especially particulates; can have significant health benefit, particularly in congested urban areas
  • Reduces engine wear
  • Does not require modifications of current engines
  • Can be used in current diesel fuel system

Increased use of biodiesel fuel expands the benefits of diesel vehicles. DaimlerChrysler supports increased use of diesel powertrains in passenger vehicles in the U.S. market.

“Diesel is an option available to us today to address our energy and environmental challenges,” said Morrissett.

Among the benefits of modern, clean diesel technology are:

  • An average of 30 percent better fuel economy
  • Up to 20 percent reduction in carbon dioxide
  • Improved performance, power, utility and durability compared with gasoline vehicles

DaimlerChrysler also supports increased use of another clean, renewable biofuel — ethanol.

Over the past decade, 10 percent of Chrysler Group vehicles are flex-fuel, capable of running on gasoline or E85, a mixture of 15 percent gasoline and 85 percent ethanol. About 1.5 million ethanol-capable Chrysler Group vehicles are currently on the road.

In 2007, the company will produce 250,000 more E85 vehicles and in 2008 plans to double the production commitment to 500,000 units, nearly 25 percent of the company’s Federal fleet production.

The company’s lineup of FFVs for 2007 includes:

  • Sport-Utility Vehicles with 4.7-liter engine – Dodge Durango, Chrysler Aspen, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Commander
  • Pickup trucks with 4.7-liter engine – Dodge Ram and Dakota
  • Minivans with 3.3-liter engine – Dodge Caravan and Grand Caravan, Chrysler Town & County
  • Chrysler Sebring sedan with 2.7-liter engine

"Part of the solution to our national energy, environmental and economic challenges can be home-grown,” said Morrissett.