Ford is getting pretty aggressive in their CNG/LPG vehicle lineup, and by next summer will offer eight different options and the F-150 member of the team is rolling off the line right now. It is equipped with the 3.7-liter V6 with hardened valves, valve seats, pistons and rings so it can run on either natural gas or gasoline through separate fuel systems.
Natural gas is in abundance here in the US and the price is a lot lower than gasoline. It runs cleaner, too. Fleets are asking for more CNG capable trucks and Ford is responding. Besides building the engine with the parts listed above, 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. It's not an inexpensive upgrade, but for fleets that put a lot of miles on their vehicles, the savings can be substantial.
When equipped with a bi-fuel CNG/LPG engine package, the 3.7-liter V6 F-150 is capable of achieving more than 750 miles on combined tanks of gasoline and CNG, depending on the tank sizes selected. The Ford F-150 with 3.7-liter V6 has an EPA-estimated rating of 23 mpg on the highway and 19 mpg combined.
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.
High mileage consumers might want to consider the same option, especially if they outfit their garage with CNG filling equipment that is becoming more widely available.