Chrysler Promotes Diesel Cherokee Laredo, Calls Diesel Fuel “Renewable”

Nov. 13, 2007: Source – PR Newswire

Grand Cherokee

Chrysler wants to pave the road to greener transportation with clean diesel—but its misuse of the word of “clean” and “renewable” throws up a road block. The company is now offering its Common Rail Direct-Injection (CRD) diesel engine on the base-level Laredo model. Previously, it was only available in the uplevel Grand Cherokee Limited and Overland.

The trail-rated Laredo offers 7,400 pounds of towing capacity, and combined fuel economy around 20 mpg—all for the price of approximately $35,000. Chrysler also reduced the price of the Limited and Overland diesel options by $1,000.

That’s good news for consumers looking for a more affordable, more efficient SUV. But just how clean is it? The Grand Cherokee CRD is not a production version of the BLUETEC Grand Cherokee engineering concept vehicle announced earlier this year. A BLUETEC implementation would meet the new federal Tier 2 Bin 5 standards which map to tough California emissions standards, thereby allowing the vehicle to be sold in all 50 states. This current Jeep CRD is only available in 42 states.

Furthermore, John Plecha, director of Jeep Brand Marketing and Global Communications, in a company press release, said, “By expanding engine availability and reducing existing prices, we hope that more consumers will be encouraged to take advantage of this clean, renewable fuel.” This statement is deceptive (unless he was referring to biodiesel). The diesel fuel more commonly available at conventional gas stations is a petroleum-based non-renewable fossil fuel.

Chrysler’s half-truths about the ability of the vehicle to reduce emission or wean Americans off of non-renewable fuel sources dilute the strong marketing message: Here’s an affordable 3.0-liter V6 SUV able to deliver 18 mpg in the city and 23 mpg highway (for 4×2 models). In addition, the bending of the definition of “clean diesel” could undermine the efforts of diesel-engine producers to clarify the advantages of the new technology—leaving the public confused about dirty old diesels and new clean diesel.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo CRD will join the rest of the diesel lineup on showroom floors this month.

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  • Eduardo Maio

    Don’t make the same mistake that is beeing made in Europe! Ok, diesel engines can get better mileage then gas engines but how about the emissions? A liter of diesel produces more CO2 then a liter of gasoline, but it also produces NOx, particles and has a higher level of sulphur.

    CO2 can be captured by planting trees, the rest can’t and the particles will be either on the air or in or lungs and it will take them 50 years to disapear…

    Ok, you can say they now have particle filters but who is willing to pay around $300 for it’s maitenance every 40.000 miles?

  • Joe Kottwitz

    The truth behing NOx production by diesel engines is too true. The effect on global warming by NOx is much greater than CO2. Here is a quote from Wikipedia regarding this problem.

    “While its radiative warming effect is substantially less than CO2, nitrous oxide’s persistence in the atmosphere, when considered over a 100 year period, per unit of weight, has 296 times more impact on global warming than that per mass unit of carbon dioxide (CO2)”

    Please don’t think that diesel engines are better for the environment than gas!

  • gmavin

    At least Ican make my own diesel, top that!G.E.Fassauer

  • Old Man Crowder

    Joe, I hate to be picky, but since we’re talking about confusing people with misleading statements, I thought I should speak up.

    Nitrous oxide is a GHG, but its symbol is N2O and has 310 times more impact on global warming than CO2.

    NOx (or NO2) is Nitrogen Oxide and is a contributor to air pollution.

    NOx is a problem for diesels.

  • Dom

    I for one hope we do make the “same mistake as Europe” and get a lot more of the small, efficient diesel vehicles that are available in Europe. And I may be mistaken, but I believe diesel engines produce LESS CO2 than gasoline engines, not the other way around. In fact, the only area they’re worse than gasoline is the whole NOx issue.