GM's 2014 Chevy Cruze adds to growing list of B20-ready vehicles

By The National Biodiesel Board | February 11, 2013

As the National Biodiesel Board heads to the 2013 National Automobile Dealers Association and American Truck Dealers (NADA/ATD) Convention this week in Orlando, the biodiesel industry is celebrating the news that General Motors has launched its new 2014 Chevrolet Cruze light-duty diesel passenger car approved for use with 20 percent biodiesel blends (B20).

“We applaud General Motors for its foresight in approving the new diesel Chevy Cruze for use with B20 biodiesel blends,” said Steve Howell, technical director for the National Biodiesel Board. “Many people do not realize that today's new technology diesel engines powered by ultra-low sulfur biodiesel blends provide tailpipe emissions as clean or cleaner than natural gas or gasoline, while providing superior fuel economy, horsepower, and durability. In addition, when you combine the increased efficiency diesel engines with the low carbon nature of an advanced biofuel like biodiesel, new technology diesel engines are positioned to become the clean and green technology of the future, and we're proud to see GM leading the way with its support for B20.”

The all-new 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel features an advanced 2.0-liter clean diesel engine that will offer an estimated 42 mpg highway with an automatic transmission and expected best-in-segment range based on GM testing. Clean diesels using modern diesel exhaust technology and ultra-low sulfur fuel are over 90 percent cleaner than older models. The Chevy Cruze is the cleanest diesel passenger car model ever produced by General Motors, and with approval for use with clean, renewable B20 biodiesel blends, it's also now the greenest.

The Cruze's 2.0L turbo-diesel is based on proven architecture already used in European models, where approximately 40 percent of all Cruze models sold feature a diesel engine. Collaborating with German and Italian engineering groups, GM's diesel experts in the U.S. adapted the engine to accommodate more stringent diesel emission standards and a wider range of driving conditions—including colder climates and higher altitudes—for the U.S. and Canada.

“This Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel represents a new era in diesel performance for American cars,” said Jens Wartha, GM chief engineer. “We've adapted a proven engine from Europe, the world's passenger diesel capital, and married it with the emissions-reducing technology that was perfected in the United States. It's a great example of how Chevrolet's global resources work harmoniously to produce the right product at the right time and for the right market.”

Starting MSRP for the diesel Chevy Cruze is reported to be $25,695, and GM plans to sell them in markets where its B20-approved Chevrolet Silverado diesel models have done well, including the West Coast, the Baltimore area, D.C., and the East Coast. The 2014 Cruze is expected to move into production later this summer.

Meanwhile, a bumper crop of new 2013 clean diesel vehicles are beginning to arrive in dealership showrooms nationwide, including more new B20-approved vehicles from domestic automakers Ford and Chrysler. In addition to its best-selling Ford F-Series Super Duty trucks, Ford is introducing a new diesel model in its Ford Transit full-size van, which will also be approved for use with B20 biodiesel like its Super Duty brethren. Additionally, Chrysler's new 2013 Ram Heavy Duty pickup features more horsepower and improved fuel economy with its 6.7-liter Cummins High-Output Turbo Diesel powertrain. The 2013 Ram Heavy Duty diesel pickups are approved for general use with B20 by all customers beginning last month.

More than 33 light- and medium-duty diesel passenger cars and trucks, as well as heavy-duty diesel models from nearly 20 different brands, will be available in the market this year. U.S. consumers now have more options than ever before in their quest to drive cleaner, more fuel-efficient vehicles capable of running on biodiesel—America's advanced biofuel. Nearly 80 percent of manufacturers selling diesel vehicles and equipment in the U.S. now warranty them for use with high-quality B20 biodiesel blends. The remainder, primarily the European light-duty diesel brands, are certified for use with 5 percent biodiesel blends (B5), and the National Biodiesel Board is working cooperatively with those manufacturers to encourage and enable their support for B20 in all vehicles sold in the U.S.

The NBB will be educating dealers about biodiesel use in the vehicles they sell during two workshop sessions entitled “Biodiesel: America's Advanced Biofuel, Here and Now” as part of the 2013 American Truck Dealers convention curriculum in Orlando. In addition, NBB is exhibiting in the NADA/ATD Expo in booth #2810.

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