Ford has begun production of the 2014 F-150 with the ability to run on compressed natural gas.
The company said this makes it the only manufacturer with an available CNG/LPG-capable half-ton pickup.
The 2014 Ford F-150 powered by the 3.7-liter V6 engine is now available with a factory-installed, gaseous-fuel prep package that includes hardened valves, valve seats, and pistons and rings; this allows it to operate on either natural gas or gasoline through separate fuel systems.
When equipped with a bi-fuel CNG/LPG engine package, the 3.7-liter V6 F-150 is said to be capable of achieving more than 750 miles on combined tanks of gasoline and CNG, depending on the tank sizes selected.
The Ford F-150 with 3.7-liter V6 has an EPA-estimated rating of 23 mpg on the highway and 19 mpg combined.
“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,” said Jon Coleman, Ford fleet sustainability and technology manager.
CNG/LPG engine prep from the factory costs $315 before the customer chooses a Ford Qualified Vehicle Modifier to supply fuel tanks, fuel lines and unique fuel injectors. Ford said upfits run approximately $6,000 to $9,500 depending on fuel tank capacity.
Ford also explained CNG conversions can provide stability against fluctuating fuel prices as well as lower vehicle operating costs for fleet administrators. CNG sells for an average of $2.10 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.
The national average for unleaded regular fuel is currently $3.29 per gallon.
Ford continued by stating customers also can accelerate the payback period by taking advantage of a growing number of state incentives. Nearly 20 states – including Oklahoma, Texas, Pennsylvania and Florida – offer or soon will provide tax incentives or rebates for CNG-converted vehicles.
In Florida, fleet customers will be eligible for rebates of up to $25,000 beginning in 2014.
By next summer, Ford will offer the eight following commercial vehicles with a gaseous-prep option:
- Transit Connect van and wagon
- Transit van, wagon, cutaway and chassis cab
- E-Series van, wagon, cutaway and stripped chassis
- F-Series Super Duty pickup and F-350 chassis cab
- F-Series Super Duty chassis cab (F-450, F-550)
- F-650 medium-duty truck
- F53 and F59 stripped chassis
- 2014 F-150 light-duty pickup
Per the company, customers are enthusiastically responding to this powerful array of choices. Since reintroducing the option in 2009, Ford said it has established itself as the leader in CNG/LPG engine sales. The company is on pace to sell more than 15,000 CNG/LPG-prepped vehicles this year, an increase of more than 25 percent from 2012.
AT&T is one of many Ford fleet customers that are finding value in CNG. The communications giant recently purchased 650 F-350 chassis cabs with the CNG-prep option.
“We’re almost halfway to our company-wide goal of deploying 15,000 alternative-fuel vehicles by the end of 2018,” said Jerome Webber, AT&T vice president, global fleet operations. “Vehicles such as CNG F-350s from Ford have helped us avoid purchasing 7.7 million gallons of gasoline over the past five years while reducing our fleet’s emissions.”
Compressed natural gas, commonly referred to as CNG, is mainly composed of methane. It is stored and distributed in hard containers at a pressure of approximately 3,600 psi. About 85 percent of the CNG used in the United States is produced domestically.
Another benefit of this alternative fuel includes cleaner emissions. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency certifies CNG usage can result in up to 30 percent less greenhouse gas emissions.