Dodge Ram leads the way in promoting use of clean, renewable biodiesel

By | November 10, 2006
There's a new breed of Dodge Ram pickups tackling the nation's environmental and energy challenges, and they're running on biodiesel.

Representatives from DaimlerChrysler hit the streets of St. Louis recently in the new 2007 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty diesel pickup to make an announcement. Chrysler Group will fuel every 2007 Dodge Ram diesel coming off the assembly line at the company's Fenton, Mo., plant with B5.

The Dodge Ram's B5 factory fill builds on a similar program initially implemented with the company's Jeep Liberty CRD and continued with the recently announced 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee CRD.

"Delivering our diesel vehicles running on biodiesel is a first step in educating our customers about the advantages of this clean, renewable, American-made fuel," said Deborah Morrissett, vice president of regulatory affairs for DaimlerChrysler. "With an average of 30 percent better fuel economy and up to 20 percent reduction in carbon dioxide, modern clean diesel technology can address our fuel economy, oil dependence and environmental issues. Biodiesel can help make modern clean-diesel vehicles even better, while still offering the performance, utility and durability that consumers want."

The Dodge Ram Heavy Duty 2500/3500 series diesel pickup trucks are powered by the 5.9-liter Cummins turbo-diesel engine. Beginning in January 2007, the vehicles will be built with the new Cummins 6.7-liter turbo-diesel engine and will meet all federal and state environmental standards.

In addition to fueling each 2007 Dodge Ram diesel with B5, the company has also approved the use of B20 in the Ram for commercial, government and military fleets using fuel meeting the military's quality requirements.

The experience gained in this test program will contribute toward finalization of a nationwide standard for B20 fuel. The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) is working with DaimlerChrysler and other automakers, suppliers, fuel refiners and distributors, customers, and research organizations to develop a national B20 standard that could dramatically increase the use of this renewable fuel.

All major original engine manufacturers support B5 and lower blends, provided they are made with biodiesel meeting ASTM D 6751, the existing ASTM standard for pure biodiesel (B100). Although the use of B20 will not necessarily void most engine warranties, the NBB's goal is to have strong position statements affirming acceptance of the use of B20. Engine and auto manufacturers maintain that an approved ASTM specification for blended B20 is critical to achieve universal acceptance.
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