DaimlerChrysler and Arctic Cat pushing the use of biodiesel blends

By Dave Nilles | September 01, 2006
Automaker DaimlerChrysler and off-road vehicle manufacturer Arctic Cat have recently announced plans that support the use of biodiesel blends.

Earlier today DaimlerChrysler announced plans to factory-fill B5 biodiesel in two of the company's 2007 model lines. Every 2007 Dodge Ram diesel pickup truck at DaimlerChrysler's Fenton, Mo., assembly plant will be factory-filled with B5. In early 2007 the company will launch the Jeep Grand Cherokee common rail diesel with a 3.0-liter turbo-diesel engine, which will also be factory-filled with B5.

The company has already delivered more than 15,000 Jeep Liberty (CRD) vehicles running on B5. The vehicles are produced at DaimlerChrysler's Toledo, Ohio, factory.

The company has also approved the use of B20 in vehicles for commercial, government and military fleets. For this program, vehicles will require a supplemental fuel filter and must be used with fuel meeting the military's quality requirements.

Earlier this year DaimlerChrysler became the first U.S. automaker to specifically approve B20 in a warranty position statement. The company is working with the National Biodiesel Board and other groups to develop a consistent, universally applied B20 quality standard.

"In order for automakers to produce, sell and warranty biodiesel vehicles, a national B20 standard is critical," said Deborah Morrissett, vice president of regulatory affairs. "We think allowing our fleet customers to use fuel made to current military specifications will accelerate the development of a national B20 specification for general use."

Earlier this month Thief River Falls, Minn.-based Arctic Cat Inc. announced it had completed development of a twin-cylinder diesel all-terrain vehicle (ATV), which will be the first of its kind on the market. After conducting a testing program, Arctic Cat is encouraging the use of biodiesel blends in the ATVs. In fact, the machine comes with a fuel tag that recommends biodiesel use of up to B20. It marks the first time B20 has been commercially prompted in small diesel engines, according to the National Biodiesel Board.

To verify compatibility, Arctic Cat vigorously tested three 2007 ATVs equipped with 700 cubic-centimeter, twin-cylinder Lombardini diesel engines. Research on biodiesel in the small diesel engines was sponsored by the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute's Center for Producer-Owned Energy and the Minnesota Corn Growers Association.

Dave Nilles is Online Editor for Biodiesel Magazine. Reach him at dnilles@bbibiofuels.com or (701) 373-0636.

Posted: 4:08 p.m. CDT Monday, October 9, 2006
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