Market News

 October 10, 2006
Dodge Ram Leads the Way in Promoting Use of Clean, Renewable Biodiesel

 St. Louis, USA -- DaimlerChrysler Announces Biodiesel Factory Fill for Dodge Rams Built in St. Louis.

There's a new breed of Dodge Rams tackling the nation's environmental and energy challenges, and they're running on biodiesel.

Representatives from DaimlerChrysler hit the streets of St. Louis today in the new 2007 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty Diesel Pickup to tout the benefits of clean, renewable biodiesel for America's transportation system, the economy and the environment. Chrysler Group announced that every 2007 Dodge Ram diesel coming off the assembly line at the company's Fenton, Missouri north plant will be fueled with B5, a blend containing 5 percent biodiesel made from soybeans grown in the U.S.

The Dodge Ram's B5 factory fueling builds on a similar program implemented first with the company's Jeep(r) 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 -- 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.

"DaimlerChrysler is on the leading edge of advanced diesel technology," said Joe Jobe, CEO of the National Biodiesel Board (NBB), the industry's nonprofit trade association. "We commend them for helping bring higher efficiency and renewable energy options to Americans. Their efforts will help America improve our energy situation, making us a safer, stronger nation."

Like the Jeep Liberty and Jeep Grand Cherokee, DaimlerChrysler's Dodge Ram diesel is already approved for regular use with B5 biodiesel. But in addition to fueling each 2007 Dodge Ram diesel with B5, the company has also approved the use of B20 -- 20 percent biodiesel fuel -- 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 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 OEMs 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, 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.

Biodiesel is a renewable diesel fuel that is made from domestic resources such as soybean oil or other domestic fats and vegetable oils. It can be used in any diesel engine with few or no modifications, and can be blended with petroleum diesel at any level. Biodiesel significantly cuts harmful environmental emissions, promotes greater energy independence and boosts our economy by providing new markets for America's farmers.

Today, more than 600 major fleets use biodiesel commercially, and over 1000 retail filling stations make it available to the public. Over 60 of those retail stations are located in Missouri, along with 157 of the more than 1,500 biodiesel distributors that are operating nationwide.