August 8, 2006
Chrysler Group has announced that it will fuel its new diesel-powered Jeep Grand Cherokees with B5, a blend containing 5% biodiesel. The Jeep Grand Cherokee CRD is the Chrysler Group’s first diesel-powered, full-sized sport utility vehicle offered in the U.S.
“Vehicle manufacturers are responding to consumer demand for more fuel efficient vehicles,” says Grant Kimberley, market development director for the Iowa Soybean Association. “The new Jeep Grand Cherokee is an excellent example of new generation clean diesel engines.”
The 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee features a 3.0-liter common rail turbo diesel (CRD) engine built by Mercedes-Benz. Clean diesel technology improves fuel economy by an average of 30% and reduces carbon dioxide emissions by up to 20%. The Grand Cherokee will be manufactured at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit and will arrive at Jeep dealerships in the first quarter of 2007.
“It’s very exciting that an internationally-respected company like Daimler-Chrysler is taking a leadership role in protecting the environment and reducing dependence on petroleum by factory filling the Cherokee with biodiesel, a domestic, renewable, cleaner burning fuel grown here in Iowa,” adds Kimberley.
Factory filling demonstrates that engine and auto manufacturers are accepting biodiesel. At this time, the state of Iowa has more than 50 retail pumps where you can purchase a biodiesel blend, and that number continues to grow weekly. There are currently six biodiesel manufacturers, six more under construction, and 10 in the feasibility and planning stages. Within the next year and a half, Iowa’s biodiesel production capacity will be more than 250 million gal./year.
In addition, Iowa lawmakers recently passed the Iowa Renewable Fuel Standard, which has many provisions that benefit biodiesel, such as a three-cent-per gallon tax credit.
“Biodiesel can play an important role in our future energy security,” says Kimberley. “Our state is poised to be the leading producer of biodiesel in the U.S.”
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