Ford CNG prep package “marks a new era in ‘green’ transit.” (Mark Fields, Ford’s president of The Americas)
Ford Motor Company will introduce engine prep packages on all Transit Connect models – base and taxi – allowing conversion to efficient, clean-burning compressed natural gas (CNG) or propane (LPG, or liquefied petroleum gas). The standard model comes with a 2.0 litre, four-cylinder engine and automatic transmission. Both CNG and LPG are popular among taxi operators because of their low cost of ownership.
The roomy, flexible interior of the Transit Connect – the 2010 North American Truck of the Year – is perfectly suited for taxi service and conversion to CNG and LPG. The vehicle’s 135 cubic feet of cargo space accommodates a compressed gas tank (behind the second-row seat) while leaving ample passenger legroom and cargo capacity.
“While meeting with taxi operators in cities throughout the U.S., we found considerable interest for vehicles that run on alternative fuels,” said Mark Fields, Ford’s president of The Americas. “The Transit Connect Taxi, combined with an engine modified by Ford to use CNG/LPG, is designed to meet that need. This marks a new era in ‘green’ transit.”
To further serve taxi operators, Ford will provide required calibration specifications for the CNG or LPG conversion. By properly following Ford’s specifications, the conversion can be completed without voiding the engine’s warranty.
The alternative fuel advantage
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, CNG is less expensive and burns cleaner than gasoline, resulting in 30 percent to 40 percent less greenhouse gas emissions.
“Compressed natural gas and propane offer more than sufficient power for vehicles because they are high-energy fuels,” said Rob Stevens, Transit Connect chief engineer. “Another natural benefit for these fuels is they provide an overall lower emission of greenhouse gases compared to gasoline. Additionally, operating on CNG or LPG provides the operators lower fuel/operating costs for their fleet.”
Furthermore, nearly 87 percent of natural gas used in the United States is domestically produced. Government tax credit incentives for fleets to convert to alternative fuels are also available.
Since October 2009, CNG prep packages have been available on E-Series vans with 5.4-liter and 6.8-liter gas engines.
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