WASHINGTON D.C. -- Modern, clean diesel engines will be a cornerstone of America's energy solutions, and clean, renewable biodiesel fuel will be critical to the success of diesel-powered vehicles in the U.S. market, a DaimlerChrysler executive says. DaimlerChrysler will continue to expand its lineup of diesel-powered vehicles in the coming months, at the same time it broadens its programs to educate the American public on the benefits of home-grown biodiesel fuel. "Diesel will be good for America, and biodiesel makes diesel better," said Loren Beard, senior manager of fuels for DaimlerChrysler in Auburn Hills, Mich. "Emissions of particulates --- an important issue in congested urban areas --- can be reduced more than 80 percent with modern, clean diesel engines running on biodiesel." Beard addressed a conference on the fuel savings, air quality, and health benefits of biodiesel in Washington, D.C., hosted by capital-area chapters of the American Lung Association and the National Biodiesel Board. Beard reported that B20 (20 percent biodiesel blended in conventional diesel fuel) can reduce particulate matter emissions by up to 15 percent. Technology advances in the past two decades have improved the power, performance, efficiency and emissions of diesel engines. As a result, today's modern, clean diesel engines produce 80 percent reduction in particulate emissions and 70 percent reduction in NOx emissions at the same time providing 50 percent more power and 30 percent more torque -- which drivers experience as "pickup" or performance. DaimlerChrysler will market five diesel-powered passenger vehicles in the U.S. in 2007: Jeep Grand Cherokee CRD sport-utility vehicle with 3.0-liter diesel engine; Mercedes-Benz E320 luxury sedan with 3.0-liter engine and BlueTec emissions technology; and three new Mercedes-Benz utility vehicles, R320 CDI, ML320 CDI, and GL320 CDI. In addition, the Dodge Ram pickup and Dodge Sprinter van are also equipped with diesel engines for the U.S. market.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials