|Leh, India (3,500+m) (Upper left. Click to enlarge.)|
Asia Pulse. DaimlerChrysler India will test its cars using B100 (100% biodiesel) produced from jatropha plants in Leh and other regions of the Himalayas.
Leh (3,500+ m; 11,428+ ft) is situated in a high-altitude cold desert with low levels of atmospheric oxygen. (Leh is the capital of the Ladakh region, which is part of the northern-most Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir.)
DaimlerChrysler has been working with the Institute of Hohenheim in Germany and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research in India on a jatropha biodiesel program, including production and long-distance drives (5,900 km) with two C-Class sedans.
In this high-altitude phase of trials, DaimlerChrysler plans to test the 2 C-Class Mercedes-Benz cars and an additional Mercedes-Benz Viano van. Testing will be carried out from 6–9 August.
We will further gain valuable feedback about the properties and behaviour of (neat) Biodiesel under extremes of cold, altitude (low pressure) and demanding road conditions. This is, by far, the toughest test, where Biodiesel performance will be pushed to the limits.—Suhas Kadlaskar, DaimlerChrysler India Director (Corporate Affairs and Finance)
August, the time of test, is one of the warmest months in the region, with temperatures increasing during the day to up to a maximum of around 38º C (100º F), so this will not be a test of cold-weather performance.