Chrysler Group announced on September 9 that it will use B5, a 5 percent blend of biodiesel, in each new Jeep Liberty Common Rail Diesel (CRD) sport-utility vehicle coming off the assembly line. Chrysler Group President and CEO Dieter Zetsche called the decision an important first step in encouraging wider use of clean, renewable fuels. American-made biodiesel is an alternative fuel that can be made from any fat or vegetable oil, such as soybean oil. It can be used in diesel engines with little or no modifications. Biodiesel can be used in its pure form (B100), or blended with petroleum diesel at any level. "The Jeep Liberty will be one of the first new passenger vehicles offering a highly efficient diesel engine into the U.S. market, and Chrysler's B5 factory fill will help build awareness about the environmental and energy security benefits of biodiesel," said National Biodiesel Board (NBB) Chief Executive Officer Joe Jobe. More than 400 major fleets use biodiesel commercially nationwide including all four branches of the military, NASA, Harvard, National Park Service, U.S. Postal Service, LL Bean, and others. About 300 retail filling stations make various biodiesel blends available to the public, and more than 1,000 petroleum distributors carry it nationwide. Biodiesel is nontoxic, biodegradable and essentially free of sulfur and aromatics. Biodiesel offers similar fuel economy, horsepower and torque to petroleum diesel while providing superior lubricity. It significantly reduces emissions of carbon monoxide, particulate matter, unburned hydrocarbons and sulfates. On a lifecycle basis, biodiesel reduces carbon dioxide by 78 percent compared to petroleum diesel, making it the most effective greenhouse gas mitigation technology currently available for heavy-duty vehicles and equipment.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials