SAN ANTONIO – In a speech at the National Biodiesel Board Annual Conference, Deb Morrissett, vice president of regulatory affairs for the Chrysler Group, encouraged the biodiesel industry to continue its development of a national standard for B-20 as automobile manufacturers focus more resources on producing diesel vehicles capable of running on the fuel. “To speed the adoption of biodiesel, and to help harness and direct the diverse research and investment efforts going into its development, we need to expedite setting a national fuel specification for biodiesel, just as we have for other fuels,” said Morrissett. “I'm looking forward to the time when anyone can fuel up with B20, but we're not there yet.” Morrissett also promised that more vehicles capable of running on the renewable fuel are on the horizon. Last month, DaimlerChrysler AG's Chairman Dieter Zetsche introduced the 2007 Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500 with 6.7L Cummins turbodiesel engine offered with B-5 and B-20 biodiesel, available to consumers in March. The heavy-duty truck will meet 2010 truck emissions standards in all 50 states. He also announced the Dodge Ram clean, light-duty turbodiesel engine, that will provide up to 30-percent improved fuel economy and meet 50-state 2010 emissions standards, will be available after 2009. Approximately 15,000 Jeep Liberty CRD diesels were delivered to customers running on B-5. In 2007, Dodge Ram diesel pickups and the Jeep Grand Cherokee CRD with 3.0L common rail turbo-diesel engine will also be fueled with B-5 at the factory. These vehicles are approved for regular use with B-5 biodiesel fuel, and the 2007 Dodge Ram is approved for use of B-20 for commercial, government, and military fleets which use military specification biodiesel fuel. In addition to Morrissett's remarks, Loren Beard, manager of Fuel Legislation, Regulation, and Policy, and Scott Schramm, manager of Regulatory and Technical Affairs, also addressed the group regarding engine warranty issues, the OEM experience with alternative fuels, and navigating new regulations. Advanced diesel technology is part of the Chrysler Group's advanced propulsion technology umbrella, which also includes efficient gasoline engines, hybrids, flex-fuel vehicles, electric vehicles, and a test fleet of more than 100 fuel-cell-powered vehicles. In 2007, DaimlerChrysler will produce more than 250,000 flexible-fuel vehicles (FFVs) capable of running on E-85 fuel, conventional gasoline, or any combination of the two fuels. The company's FFV fleet will increase to nearly 500,000 in 2008. The 2007 FFV lineup includes:

  • Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Commander, Dodge Durango, and Chrysler Aspen SUVs (4.7L engine).
  • Dodge Ram and Dodge Dakota pickups (4.7L engine).
  • Chrysler Sebring sedan (2.7L engine).
  • Dodge Caravan, Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country minivans (3.3L engine).

    The Chrysler Group’s total sales worldwide in 2006 were 2.7 million vehicles, according to the manufacturer. Sales outside of North America were the highest in a decade with an increase of 15 percent over 2005. On the heels of the company's record product launch year (Chrysler Group launched 10 all-new vehicles in 2006), the company plans to extend that streak with eight all-new products in 2007. Its product lineup includes the Chrysler 300, Jeep Commander, and Dodge Charger.

  • Originally posted on Fleet Financials