Ford has announced that it will offer customers a compressed natural gas (GNG) prep package on the 2014 F-150 pickup. Although it isn’t a full conversion, Ford’s package sets the F-150 up to be converted by a Ford Qualified Vehicle Modifier. The kit is available only on F-150s equipped with the base 3.7-liter V-6 engine, and it includes hardened valves, valve seats, pistons, and rings. With the prep kit, the F-150 can run on either gasoline or natural gas (via separate fuel systems), as well as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).
According to Ford, the CNG/LPG prep package will cost roughly $315, but outfitting the truck with the requisite CNG fuel tank and fuel-delivery systems will set buyers back between $7500 and $9500. Still, Ford claims that customers who opt for the kit and the pricey CNG up-fit can see a return on their investment within 24–36 months, thanks to the ultra-low price of natural gas. The fuel can cost as little as a buck a (gasoline equivalent) gallon—as opposed to the current price of regular gas, which is hovering in the mid-$3 range—meaning fleets that travel lots of miles could legitimately see savings in a short period of time.
- Instrumented Test: 2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas
- Instrumented Test: 2011 Ford F-150 XLT SuperCrew 4×2 3.7 V6
- Instrumented Test: 2013 Ford Fusion 1.6L EcoBoost Automatic
Ford claims the F-150 is the only CNG/LPG-capable half-ton pickup on the market, but technically most any vehicle—other half-tons included—can be converted to use natural gas, so the boast is somewhat disingenuous. Perhaps more accurate, Ford is the only manufacturer to offer a preparatory package that primes a half-ton for conversion. (Ram offers a turn-key natural-gas-powered 2500 heavy-duty pickup, and the Mopar catalog offers conversion bits for regular 1500s.) The F-150 is only the latest Ford commercial vehicle to offer a gaseous-prep engine option, and the automaker predicts it will offer eight different compatible models within the next year. Those models include the Transit Connect, the new Transit van, the outgoing E-series van, F-series Super Duty pickups, F-450 and F-550 Super Duty chassis cabs, the F-650 medium-duty truck, and the F53 and F59 stripped chassis. The multitude of CNG-prepped models are part of Ford’s plan to sell 15,000 such vehicles this year.
Source: FULL ARTICLE at Car & Driver