DaimlerChrysler AG, along with Ford Motor Company and General Motors Corp. plans to improve the consumer access to alternative fuels and reduce the country’s dependence on petroleum products.
After a meeting in White House and the demonstration of alternative fuel vehicles on the South Lawn drive, Pres. George W. Bush talked to the public media about his meeting with the top executives of the three American automakers including Rick Wagoner, Alan Mulally, and Tom LaSorda. Pres. Bush made some remarks on the three automaker’s goal to reduce the nation’s gasoline consumption by 20 percent in the next 10 years.
Pres. George W. Bush said:
“I found it very interesting that by 2012, 50 percent of the automobiles in America will be flex-fuel vehicles. That means that the American consumer will be able to either use gasoline or ethanol, depending upon, obviously, price and convenience. That’s a major technological breakthrough for the country. If you want to reduce gasoline usage, like I believe we need to do so for national security reasons, as well as for environmental concerns, the consumer has got to be in a position to make a rational choice. And so I appreciate very much the fact that American automobile manufacturers recognize the reality of the world in which we live and are using new technologies to give the consumers different options.”
“Right now, most of our ethanol is made from corn. But the federal government is spending a lot of money to try to develop new technologies that will mean that ethanol could be made from wood chips or switch grass. Part of that request is embedded in a request to the Congress, and I would hope that Congress would move expeditiously on our plan to reduce gasoline usage by 20 percent over the next 10 years. It’s in our national security interest that we do this, it’s in economic security interest we do it, and all at the same time, it will help us be better stewards of the environment.” he continued.
Tom LaSorda, Chief Executive Officer of DaimlerChrysler AG’s Chrysler Group commented:
“Well, DaimlerChrysler, which includes the Mercedes car group, the Freightliner and other truck divisions in the Chrysler group, we’ve committed, as well, by 2012, to have 50 percent of our production not only in E85, but biodiesel. This Jeep Grand Cherokee here today is going into production as we speak, being shipped from the factory with B5. So we’ve very committed to this, as well, and we think this is the answer for America to lower our dependence on foreign oil.”
Does this mean that Mercedes-Benz will also develop E85-capable vehicles with Mercedes oil filters by 2012?
In addition to DaimlerChrysler’s plan to develop vehicles running on E85 fuel, the company has also announced recently that are expanding the concept plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) program by including the all-new 2007 Dodge Sprinter full size van on the lineup. The Sprinter PHEV will be equipped with a lithium-ion battery pack for additional power and energy storage.
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