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Chrysler to Introduce Flex-Fuel Jeeps in 2007

Commander
The Commander goes Flex-Fuel in 2007.

Beginning next year, Chrysler will introduce flexible-fuel models of the Jeep Commander and Jeep Grand Cherokee capable of running on ethanol blends of up to 85% (E85)— the first application of E85 flex-fuel engines to the Jeep brand.

All Jeep Commander and Jeep Grand Cherokee retail and fleet buyers who select the 4.7-liter engine option will automatically receive Flexible-Fuel Vehicles capable of running on E85 fuel. Also available in Flexible Fuel Vehicle (FFV) capability for 2007 are:

  • Chrysler Sebring sedan and convertible with the 2.7-liter engine.

  • Dodge Dakota and Dodge Ram pickups and Dodge Durango SUV with 4.7-liter engine.

  • Dodge Caravan and Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country minivans equipped with 3.3-liter engines will also be available with FFV capability for fleet customers.

Overall for 2007, the company plans to sell more than 250,000 Flexible Fuel Vehicles (FFVs) capable of running on E85. That number will increase to nearly 500,000 units beginning in the 2008 model year, or about 25% of the company’s new US vehicles.

Chrysler Group President and CEO Tom LaSorda made the announcement during remarks to the Renewable Fuel Association annual conference in Washington, DC, today.

Chrysler Group says that it has 1.5 million FFV-capable vehicles already on the road, representing about 10% of all vehicles sold by the company since 1998—a greater percentage than any other company.

To maximize the ability to run on ethanol-based fuels, automakers adjust engine computer controls and alter the fuel system (fuel tank, fuel pump and fuel lines) to resist the corrosive effects of ethanol.

Chrysler Group FFVs use a patented sensor system to determine the exact content of the fuel (E85, gasoline or any mixture of the two). The seamless transition of one fuel to another is accomplished by an advanced calibration system that determines the concentration of ethanol in the gasoline and adjusts for greatest operational efficiency.

Unfortunately, too many of these vehicles have been—or will be—running on pure gasoline due to the lack of a fuel infrastructure. But we know that flex-fuels can work, when industry and government get behind them and encourage infrastructure development.

—Tom LaSorda

When burning gasoline, the 2006 Jeep Commander and Grand Cherokee with the 4.7-liter engine have an EPA fuel economy rating of 17 mpg combined. Fuel consumption with E85 will be higher (and fuel economy lower), due to the lower energy content of ethanol, although Chrysler has not yet provided an estimated rating for these vehicles.

Comments

Max Reid

Why not they introduce this flex-fuel in smaller vehicles like Caliber, PT Cruiser, etc.

After all in Brazil, smaller vehicles have flex-fuel option.

b100

Perish the thought that they'd encourage anyone to buy a smaller vehicle!

Tripp Bisop

If we're going to kick oil we're going to have to drive more efficient vehicles. Biofuels will never displace gasoline as long as 17 MPG is the norm. Until the average joe understands this we're going nowhere... fast.

Charlie

In this manner biofuels are like lower dose nicotine patches to chain smokers, they don't really do much for the cure

t

14% of our current corn crop is devoted to ethanol, which provides less than 1% of our gas needs. Sorry, but I am still having trouble seeing how ethanol is going to make much of a dent in our oil problems, especially when we seem to be focusing on gas guzzlers to convert to FFV.

But FFVs have very little to do with getting us off oil and have everything to do with helping GM and others meet Cafe standards.

Sid Hoffman

Like "t" said, the reason GM and Chrysler are so hard on FFV's is because it props up their CAFE numbers. Chrysler is already teetering on the brink of missing it's numbers for CAFE and I believe Benz is actually in the negative and pays out fines every year. It's very possible Benz will offer FFV's not long form now to reduce their exposure to CAFE penalties.

As for how we'll increase Ethanol production, obviously it won't come from corn. We might double or triple ethanol from corn production, but beyond that, I can't picture how there is any remaining demand for the non-fuel portions of the corn feedstock product. They'll have to use other feedstock if we hope to reach meaningful (like 20-30%) Ethanol usage as a percentage of all transportation fuels.

Tripp

namely cellulose ethanol, which can provide for a lot more of our energy needs than corn ethanol ever can.

mango

I saw one of these Commanders at the Perth motor show 2 days ago. It is due out in Australia next month. Has to be one of the ugliest vehicles I've ever seen. I don't think it's styling would help with fuel consumption some how in terms of aerodynamics.

rexis

Going flex fuel means you have the option to put in biofuel and feel good guzzling the precious biofuel, and therefore creating more demand for the biofuel and thus encouraging more venture into biofuel production. Are we going to question that the ethanol is from corn or sugarcane or grass from your backyard? No! We just fill our car with whatever affordable and go busy our life.

Andrey

Another attempt from Big Three to do nothing useful. America has big troubles to blend 3+% of precious corn ethanol instead of MTBE to summer fuel blends. All vehicles on the road are E10 certified, and it will take 10 years to move from current E3 beyond E10 on corn ethanol. Cellulose ethanol is still a fantasy, not a reality. And WTF they are changing to allow E85?! Finally anodizing fuel line?

otis wildflower

Diesel diesel diesel diesel diesel dammit!

Where's the Bluetec diesel?

(Actually, I quite like the new Dodge Caliber.. I want one with a 2.4l CDI engine that can take B100...)

Lifuel

I'm with Otis Wildflower. WHERE are the Diesels for these vehicles? It's extremely frustrating. I 've personally contacted DC's Alternative Fuels Director and PR Department begging for these additions. After all, the Liberty CRD has well exceeded sales goals.

lois

I know darn well that someone can build a car that runs on steam and i know that all those brains that we have in the united states can stop all this demand on oil... but you car dealers and your oil friends refuse to do something about it...

if there were a car that ran on water/steam, you would hit top record selling deals and your pockets would be bulging with profits...

why dont you do it!

rj

Ummm

For starters.

1) What fuel are you going to use to heat the water to steam?

2) Can you live with long warm up times required to heat xx volume of water to 100+ deg C

3) How much water would you need to carry to cover a given distance?

4) Based on 1 and 2 above what will the resulant polution output of this vehicle be?

5) Do you intend to operate this vehicle in temps below frezing?

Based on 1 above what will be the MPG of the steam car?
How will this reduce oil consumption?

elrayray

Referring to the diesel quest.

Honda has a diesel on the road in the UK.
Google search the reviews, they are exciting.

We need it in the US now!
I think Honda is worried about competing with their own hybrids.

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