The Chrysler Group of DaimlerChrysler announced today it will increase the number of models offered that can burn ethanol fuels. The Chrysler group plans to make one-fourth of all vehicles ethanol-friendly by 2008, and Tom LaSorda will announce flex-fuel engines for the Jeep Commander and Grand Cherokee by 2007. The move follows letters sent by two U.S. senators to the six largest automakers, encouraging them to build more flex-fuel vehicles. A senate bill is being proposed that would actually make it a requirement for automakers to annually increase the number of E85-ready vehicles it offers.
Toyota Motor Company is considering offering an E85 vehicle, if the market demands it. While we have been flooded with announcements of new ethanol production facilities, the capacity will still be less than 1% of the nation’s gasoline consumption. This lack of availability of the fuel (and the filling stations) might be a significantly hurdle for an increase in customer demand. [Source: Detroit Free Press]

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