Ford has begun production of the 2014 F-150 half-ton pickup with the ability to run on compressed natural gas. Equipped with a 3.7-liter V6 engine, the F-150 is available with a factory-installed, gaseous-fuel prep package that includes hardened valves, valve seats, and pistons and rings so it can operate on either compressed natural gas (CNG) or gasoline through separate fuel systems.
The F-150 is capable of achieving more than 750 miles on combined tanks of gasoline and CNG, depending on the tank sizes selected, and 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 engine prep from the factory costs USD315 before the customer chooses a Ford Qualified Vehicle Modifier to supply fuel tanks, fuel lines and unique fuel injectors. Upfits run approximately $6,000 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 $2.10 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 $3.29 per gallon.
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.
Ford CNG Stable
By next summer, Ford will offer eight 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
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.”
Using Ford Qualified Vehicle Modifiers to offer a wide variety of CNG options, Ford maintains the engine and powertrain limited warranty (five years or 60,000 miles) while 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. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency certifies CNG usage can result in up to 30 percent less greenhouse gas emissions.