DaimlerChrysler executive: Clean diesel technology made better with biodiesel

By | October 13, 2006
Modern, clean-diesel engines will be a cornerstone of America's energy solutions, and clean, renewable biodiesel fuel will be critical to the success of diesel-powered vehicles in the U.S. market, said Loren Beard, senior manager of fuels for DaimlerChrysler.
DaimlerChrysler will continue to expand its lineup of diesel-powered vehicles in the coming months, while it broadens its programs to educate the American public on the benefits of home-grown biodiesel fuel, he added.

"Diesel will be good for America, and biodiesel makes diesel better," said Beard at the Air Quality Forum hosted by chapters of the American Lung Association and the National Biodiesel Board on Sept. 8. "Emissions of particulates-an important issue in congested urban areas-can be reduced more than 80 percent with modern, clean diesel engines running on biodiesel."

DaimlerChrysler will market five diesel-powered passenger vehicle models in the United States in 2007: a Jeep Grand Cherokee CRD sport-utility vehicle with a 3.0-liter diesel engine, a Mercedes-Benz E320 luxury sedan with a 3.0-liter engine and BlueTec emissions technology, and three new Mercedes-Benz utility vehicles (R320 CDI, ML320 CDI and GL320 CDI). In addition, the Dodge Ram pickup and Dodge Sprinter van are also equipped with diesel engines for the U.S. market.

Beard noted that diesel vehicles have significant environmental and consumer benefits compared with gasoline vehicles, including:
--An average of 30 percent better fuel economy
--Up to 20 percent less emissions of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas
--Increased performance, range and towing capability
--Longer life and increased resale value

According to the U.S. EPA, if the United States had a light-duty fleet that was one-third diesel, the country would reduce its oil consumption by up to 1.4 million barrels of oil per day. That is equivalent to the amount of oil the United States imports daily from Saudi Arabia.

"Use of biodiesel extends the benefits of diesel technology," Beard said. "As our President and CEO Tom LaSorda has pointed out, biofuels are proof that at least part of the solution to our energy, environment and national security issues can be homegrown."
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