Chrysler CEO Says He is Being Forced to Go Hybrid to Meet 2025 CAFE Standards
October 20, 2011
The Jeep Grand Cherokee will get a diesel engine option in 2013.
"I have no other way of getting to 2025 numbers than by going to hybrids"
Automakers along with state and federal governments have been working to hammer out fuel efficiency plans that will see the fleet wide economy for automakers rise to 54.5 mpg by 2025. There has been more than a little backlash even though major automakers and many in Washington have agreed in spirit to the plan. The backlash comes from some in Washington that say forcing the very high fuel efficiency numbers will reduce consumer choice and force automakers to build cars that consumers don’t want.
A perfect example of being forced to build a specific kind of car to simply meet economy standards is Chrysler. Chrysler has one hybrid in the works, a hybrid version of the 300 expected in 2013. However, according to Chrysler and Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne he will be forced to build more hybrids simply to meet the goals.
Marchionne said, "I have no other way of getting to 2025 numbers than by going to hybrids."
Marchionne also said that Chrysler would also be bringing diesel vehicles to the U.S. to help meet the CAFÉ standards. The first of these diesel vehicles will likely be a Jeep Grand Cherokee in 2013. Interestingly, Chrysler already makes diesel vehicles for export markets. None of the diesel versions of its vehicles are currently offered in the U.S. today, although diesel versions of the Jeep Liberty (2005-2006) and Jeep Grand Cherokee (2007-2008) were briefly offered in the United States.
Chrysler has previously said that 14% of its global sales would be diesel-powered by 2014. The company is also offering multiple models that will run on compressed natural gas and that will help meet mandates as well. That is assuming buyers will consider a CNG vehicle, which isn't happening today outside of most fleet sales.
"The likelihood of that happening [CNG adoption] is uncertain, but I'm still hopeful that at least a sizable portion of the U.S. market will develop CNG capability. And we are ready," said Marchionne.