Rising gas prices and dwindling oil reserves have more manufacturers looking for alternative fuels to get us by, and until fuel cell or all-electric vehicles become a cost-effective alternatives, the best option to date is compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquid petroleum gas (LPG). Ford is dipping its toes into the CNG and LPG pool, as it has just announced that the 2014 F-150 will be offered with CNG and LPG options. Unfortunately, these options won’t be offered from factory, as customers will have a Ford Qualified Vehicle Modifier install the new fuel system.
Ford will, however, modify the 3.7-liter V-6 engine with a gaseous-fuel prep package that includes hardened valves, valve seats, pistons and rings. This optional package runs $315 on top of the base MSRP, then the customer will head off to the modifier to have the LPG or CNG system installed. Depending on the fuel tank size, the final conversion procedure costs between $7,500 and $9,500. Sure, that’s a huge investment, but CNG-converted trucks show a quick return on investment, as the average CNG price in the U.S. is $2.11 per gallon and in some cases, it is as little as $1 per gallon and the F-150 can run up to 750 miles with a single tank of CNG.
CNG-capable F-150s will come with a 3.7-liter V-6 engine, but Ford has not released its specifications when powered by CNG.
This option makes Ford the only manufacturer with an available CNG/LPG-capable half-ton pickup. Ford also plans to add the CNG/LPG option to eight more commercial vehicles in the next year.
Click past the jump to read more about the standard Ford F-150.
The current F-150 lineup includes a choice of four powerful engines, ranging from a standard 302-horsepower 3.7-liter V-6 up to a very powerful a 411-horsepower 6.2-liter V-8. The mid-grade engine is a 360-horsepower 5.0-liter V-8, but customers that are more economical can choose the 365-horsepower 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine.
The F-150 is priced from $23,995.
Gallery Ford F-150
Ford, America’s truck leader, will offer the 2014 F-150 with the ability to run on compressed natural gas, making Ford the only manufacturer with an available CNG/LPG-capable half-ton pickup.
The 2014 Ford F-150 with 3.7-liter V6 engine will be available this fall with a factory-installed, gaseous-fuel prep package that includes hardened valves, valve seats, pistons and rings so it can operate on either natural gas or gasoline through separate fuel systems.
When the 3.7-liter V6 F-150 is equipped with a CNG/LPG engine package, it is capable of achieving 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,” said Jon Coleman, Ford fleet sustainability and technology manager. “With the money saved using CNG, customers could start to see payback on their investment in as little as 24 to 36 months.”
CNG/LPG engine prep from the factory costs approximately $315 before the customer chooses a Ford Qualified Vehicle Modifier to supply fuel tanks, fuel lines and unique fuel injectors. Upfits run approximately $7,500 to $9,500 depending on fuel tank capacity.
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 $2.11 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. The national average for unleaded regular fuel is $3.66 per gallon.
In the next year, Ford will offer eight commercial vehicles with a gaseous-prep option, a number no other full-line manufacturer can match:
- 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
Customers are enthusiastically responding to this powerful array of choices. Since reintroducing the option in 2009, Ford has established itself as the leader in CNG/LPG engine sales. Ford 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 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 year 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.”
Qualified Vehicle Modifiers
Ford has established a rigorous qualification program for alternative-fuel vehicle modifiers. The QVM program is intended to help modifiers achieve greater levels of customer satisfaction and product acceptance through the manufacture of high-quality vehicles.
QVMs offer a wide variety of CNG/LPG options to help customers find the best, most cost-effective solution to their diverse operating needs. Ford maintains the engine and powertrain limited warranty (five years or 60,000 miles); the modifier is responsible for the system component warranty.
Compressed natural gas
Compressed natural gas 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: Cleaner emissions. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency certifies CNG usage can result in up to 30 percent less greenhouse gas emissions.