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Chrysler To Sell Natural-Gas Cars In 2017

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On: Wed, Apr 13, 2011 at 5:19PM | By: Tim Healey

Chrysler To Sell Natural-Gas Cars In 2017

Chrysler will begin selling vehicles powered by compressed natural gas in 2017. Fiat, which currently owns 30 percent of Chrysler and plans on eventually owning a majority stake in the company, already offers compressed natural gas engines in some of its products in Europe. Chrysler has been looking into bringing the technology to American shores.

Chrysler and Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne likes the technology because it's cheaper than other alternative-fuel technologies, and Fred Diaz, the CEO of Chrysler's Ram truck brand, has expressed an interest in using the technology in pickup truck applications.

Currently, Honda is the only automaker that sells compressed natural gas vehicles to retail buyers in the U.S. General Motors sells compressed natural gas vehicles to fleet buyers.

Automakers are continually exploring alternative-fuel technologies in order to meet rising fuel-economy mandates, and it makes sense that Chrysler might borrow pre-existing technology from Fiat, since it can be brought to the American market more quickly at less cost.

Whether Chrysler will fulfill the promise of compressed natural gas by 2017 remains to be seen, but it's not surprising that the company would be attempting to make inroads in this area.


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