Bioenergy

Jeep Flex Fuel Vehicle Unveiled for 2007

DaimlerChrysler’s commitment to manufacturing Flexible Fuel Vehicles (FFV) is witnessed in the recent addition of Jeep Commanders and Grand Cherokees engineered to operate on clean, renewable, American-made ethanol fuel. They will be available to U.S. customers in 2007.

Overall for 2007, the company plans to sell more than 250,000 Flexible Fuel Vehicles (FFVs) capable of running on E85 (85 percent ethanol) fuel, said Tom LaSorda, Chrysler Group President and CEO. That number will increase to nearly 500,000 units beginning in the 2008 model year — about one-quarter of the company’s U.S. fleet. About 1.5 million FFV-capable Chrysler Group vehicles are already on the road, representing about 10 percent of all vehicles sold by the company since 1998 — a greater percentage than any other company. In addition, Chrysler Group is an industry leader in promoting use of biodiesel, a clean, renewable fuel made from plant oils that can be mixed with conventional diesel fuel. Each Jeep Liberty CRD diesel SUV built at the company’s Toledo, Ohio, assembly plant is fueled with B5 (5 percent biodiesel), made from soybeans grown and refined in Ohio. Beginning this fall, the company will test use of B20 (20 percent biodiesel) in its industry-leading Dodge Ram heavy-duty diesel pickup trucks, working initially with commercial, government and military fleet customers. For vehicles to operate on ethanol-based fuels, engine computer controls must be adjusted and the fuel system (fuel tank, fuel pump and fuel lines) must be altered to resist the effects of the alcohol (ethanol). Chrysler Group FFVs use a patented sensor system to determine the exact content of the fuel (E85, gasoline or any mixture of the two). The seamless transition of one fuel to another is accomplished by an advanced calibration system that determines the concentration of ethanol in the gasoline and adjusts for greatest operational efficiency. The Chrysler Sebring sedan and convertible with the 2.7-liter engine and the Dodge Dakota and Dodge Ram pickups and Dodge Durango SUV with 4.7-liter engine will also have the FFV capability in 2007. Dodge Caravan and Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country minivans equipped with 3.3-liter engines will be available with FFV capability for fleet customers.