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Chrysler launching diesel Jeep Liberty, allowing B5 biodiesel blends

14 September 2004

DaimlerChrysler announced that each new 2005 Jeep Liberty sport-utility vehicle rolling off the assembly line will be fueled with 5% biodiesel blend (B5), to encourage the use of renewable fuels. The first Liberty diesel will be produced in November in the Jeep Liberty plant in Toledo, OH.

The Jeep Liberty diesel, the first diesel-powered mid-size SUV to be offered in the USA, will be powered with a 2.8-liter four-cylinder Common Rail Diesel (CRD) engine. The acceleration of the 4-cylinder CRD diesel vehicle is comparable to that of a V6 gasoline engine, and the torque output to that of a gasoline V8. The Liberty CRD diesel will achieve 22 mpg (10.7 l/100 km) city and 27 mpg (8.7 l/100 km) highway, overall approximately 30% better than Liberty’s comparable 3.7-liter V-6 gasoline engine.

In addition to the reduction in fuel consumption, the diesel engine also brings a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared with gasoline engines, said DaimlerChrysler.

Biodiesel fuel, manufactured in the USA mostly from soy beans, is a renewable fuel which brings substantial reductions in the life cycle greenhouse gas emissions (most of carbon dioxide released when the fuel is burned is matched by the amount of carbon dioxide absorbed by soy plants during growth). In addition, biodiesel reduces emissions of PM, HC and CO.

DaimlerChrysler said its Dodge Ram diesel pickup trucks have run successfully on B20 (20% biodiesel) blends in fleets required to use alternative fuels by the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPACT). However, due to lack of biodiesel fuel standards to guarantee consistent quality of B20 fuels, DaimlerChrysler recommends its diesel vehicles be run on a biodiesel blend of maximum 5% (B5). This recommendation is also consistent with the common position by fuel injection equipment manufacturers on the use of biodiesel in diesel engines.

The CRD engine does not meet the LEV II emission standards that became effective this year in California. As a result, the Liberty diesel will not be available in California or in other states that adopted California emission standards (Massachusetts, Maine, New York, Vermont).

Source: DaimlerChrysler