DaimlerChrysler has approved the use of B20 (20% biodiesel) in Dodge Ram pickup trucks, effective with the 2007 Model Year, and with the stipulation of the use of biodiesel fuel that meets the fuel specifications established by the US military.
Initially, DaimlerChrysler is approving use of B20 in Dodge Ram pickups equipped with Cummins diesel engines for its military, government and commercial fleet customers only.
In the absence of a commercial standards, the military several years ago developed its own specification to avoid fuel quality problems while still allowing the military to meet its EPAct alternative fuel requirements.
Currently, the military spec as defined by the Defense Energy Support Center (DESC) requires biodiesel blend components to meet the separate ASTM specifications for the two parts—D975 (diesel fuel) and D6751 (the B100 biodiesel blendstock)—and adhere to specified blending procedures.
Chrysler is working with the government, automotive suppliers, energy providers, universities and independent agencies on a national fuel standard that would make B20 an option for all owners of Dodge Ram diesels.
Promoting increased use of biodiesel is a part of DaimlerChrysler’s campaign to re-introduce diesel-powered passenger vehicles to U.S. consumers. Modern diesel vehicles offer fuel economy improvements of about 30% and reduced greenhouse gas emissions compared to their gas-powered counterparts. At the same time, diesel vehicles provide the power and performance valued by American consumers.
While diesel technology alone can make big strides toward helping us meet our national energy, environment and security objectives, when you add biodiesel and other biofuels, it gets really interesting.—Chrysler Group President and CEO Tom LaSorda
Chrysler Group has previously endorsed use of B5 (5% biodiesel) fuel in the Jeep Liberty CRD diesel SUV, and every vehicle is fueled with B5 at the assembly plant in Toledo. In addition, use of B2 is approved for the diesel-powered Dodge Sprinter vans.
In the United States, Chrysler Group is participating in an extensive biodiesel research program, including development of a national B20 specification. The research partnership includes Detroit-based nonprofit NextEnergy; Biodiesel Industries, the nation's largest chain of biodiesel refineries; automotive suppliers Bosch, Delphi and Cummins, along with researchers based at Wayne State and Michigan State universities, with initial work to include much-needed research and field testing of biodiesel fuels. (Earlier post.)
Chrysler Group is also working with Michigan State researchers and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to re-use a brownfield site in the Detroit area to produce crops for biodiesel research and development programs.
DaimlerChrysler is participating in research programs in Germany and India to develop processes for producing high-quality biodiesel from non-food agricultural products.
DaimlerChrysler has also announced plans to market vehicles in the US this year equipped with BlueTec, a portfolio of emissions aftertreatment technologies that enable the vehicles to meet the strictest emissions standards. (Earlier post.)