Thursday, August 1, 2013

Ford to Offer F-150 with Natural Gas Capability

Ford announced that it will offer a version of its 2014 model year F-150 pickup truck with the ability to run on compressed natural gas, which the manufacturer says will be the only half-ton pickup on the market with that capability.

The 2014 Ford F-150 with a 3.7-liter V6 engine will be available this fall with separate fuel systems that allow it to operate on either natural gas or gasoline.

Ford says F-150s equipped with the natural gas package can achieve more than 750 miles on one tank of gas, depending on the tank size selected. The Ford F-150 averages 23 mpg on the highway.

“Businesses and fleet customers have been asking Ford to make F-150 available with CNG capability to take advantage of the fuel’s low price and clean emissions,” Jon Coleman, Ford fleet sustainability and technology manager, said in a news release. “With the money saved using CNG, customers could start to see payback on their investment in as little as 24 to 36 months.”

Ford says natural gas engine preparation from the factory costs approximately $315. Customers then must choose a Ford "qualified vehicle modifier" to supply fuel tanks, fuel lines and unique fuel injectors, which costs an additional $7,500 - $9,500, depending on fuel tank capacity.

Ford says converting a truck to natural gas capability can provide stability against fluctuating fuel prices and cut vehicle operating costs for fleet administrators. CNG sells for an average of $2.11 per gallon of gasoline equivalent, and is as low as $1 in some parts of the country, representing a significant savings over unleaded regular fuel, Ford said. The national average for unleaded regular fuel is $3.66 per gallon.

The company said that in the next year, it will offer eight commercial vehicles with the natural gas option.

Ford says it is on pace to sell more than 15,000 CNG-prepped vehicles this year, an increase of more than 25 percent from 2012.