|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.