DaimlerChrysler will fill each new 2005 Jeep Liberty Common Rail Diesel (CRD) vehicle rolling off the assembly line in Toledo, Ohio, with 5 percent biodiesel (B5). The biodiesel is produced from soybeans grown in Ohio.
DaimlerChrysler globally has been working hard with biofuels and synthetic fuels in addition to the new clean diesel technology. Topping off Jeeps with B5 is a good symbolic step in opening a U.S. marketing campaign that includes these elements.
“This is an important first step in encouraging wider use of these clean, renewable, environmentally-friendly fuels in the United States,” said Dieter Zetsche, Chrysler Group President and CEO.
The CRD technology in the Liberty diesel improves efficiency and reduces emissions by exactly calibrating the amount and pressure of fuel injected into the engine’s combustion chambers. (Increasing the degree of control of the quality of the combustion in the cylinder based on load and other conditions is key to maximizing the efficiency of the burn and minimizing the emissions. A good emissions control program starts with improved in-cylinder control.)
The Liberty diesel achieves 22 mpg city and 27 mpg highway, overall approximately 30% higher than Liberty’s comparable 3.7-liter V-6 gasoline engine. The Liberty diesel also reduces greenhouse gas emissions by some 20% compared to the gasoline version.
“With biodiesel, we can increase these benefits even further. And because biodiesel is made from renewable resources, we further reduce our dependence on petroleum for our transportation needs,” Zetsche said.
Now clearly, B5 isn’t the solution to all our problems. But kudos to Chrysler for making the gesture and putting the topic into the mainstream.