DaimlerChrysler Corporation recently began selling its line of E85-compatible vehicles to the general public, whereas they were previously only offered to fleets. These flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs), which operate on a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline, are the 2006 versions of the Chrysler Sebring sedan, Dodge Caravan, Dodge Grand Caravan, Dodge Durango, Dodge Ram 1500 Series, and Dodge Stratus. This increases the total number of FFVs available for retail purchase to twenty.
“We are elated to know that DaimlerChrysler will offer their vehicles to the everyday consumer,” said Phil Lampert, Executive Director of the National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition. “We believe that this move will prove beneficial to DaimlerChrysler as well as the everyday consumer that requests the availability of these vehicles.”
DaimlerChrysler is one of four automakers currently producing FFVs. Although dealerships may not have a large inventory of the vehicles on their lots, they can be special ordered.
The company plans to have more vehicles join its FFV lineup, offering the Dodge Dakota, Jeep Commander, and Jeep Grand Cherokee as E85-compatible vehicles in 2007. Its overall goal for 2007 is to sell more than 250,000 FFVs, according to Tom LaSorda, Chrysler Group President and CEO.
In addition, DaimlerChrysler’s Jeep Liberty Common Rail Diesel (CRD), which comes factory filled with 5 percent biodiesel (B5), has surpassed sales of 10,000. This number is double what was initially expected when the vehicle first became available in 2005. The Jeep Liberty CRD is the country’s first diesel-powered, mid-sized sport utility vehicle and is filled with B5 made from Ohio soybeans, which are refined at the Peter Cremer biodiesel facility in Cincinnati.
“At DaimlerChrysler, biodiesel is part of our vision for an America that is less dependent on petroleum, that protects and preserves the environment, and that values a strong and sustainable economy,” said Deb Morrissett, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs for Chrysler Group. “We are excited to be in this partnership with Peter Cremer, and with the biodiesel industry as a whole, to use clean, renewable, homegrown sources of energy to power our vehicles.”