Ford is introducing a natural gas prep kit for the 2014 F-150 pickup, making it the only half-ton pickup available with that package.
The option will be available for the 3.7-liter V6, and can be ordered with any F-150 configuration offered with that engine. The kit includes specially engineered valves, valve seats, pistons and rings that allow the motor to operate on either compressed natural gas (CNG), liquid petroleum gas (LPG) or gasoline.
CNG/LPG engine prep from the factory costs approximately $315 before the customer chooses a qualified vehicle modifier to supply fuel tanks, fuel lines and unique fuel injectors, noted Jon Coleman, Ford fleet sustainability and technology manager, with complete CNG/LPG upgrades typically costing between $7,500 to $9,500 depending on fuel tank capacity.
“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,” he said. “With the money saved using CNG, customers could start to see payback on their investment in as little as 24 to 36 months.”
Ford noted those calaculations are based on the current price-point for CNG, which sells right now 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 as the national average for unleaded regular gasoline fuel right now is $3.66 per gallon.
Also, over the next year, Ford said it plans to offer will offer eight commercial vehicles with a gaseous-prep option, including: the Transit Connect van and wagon; full-size 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 and F-550); F-650 medium-duty truck; F53 and F59 stripped chassis; the 2014 F-150 light-duty pickup.
Ford added that it is on pace to sell more than 15,000 CNG/LPG-prepped vehicles this year, an increase of more than 25% from 2012.