Ford to Offer Natural Gas Option on 2014 F-150 Pickups
Ford to Offer Systems for F-150 Pickups to Run on Natural Gas
By Craig Trudell - Jul 31, 2013 12:01 AM ET
Ford Motor Co, the second-largest U.S. automaker, plans to begin offering compressed natural gas fuel systems for its F-150 pickups to meet growing demand from business fleets and attract retail buyers.
Fuel packages similar to what Ford has offered on large commercial vehicles since 2009 will be available starting this year with the 2014 F-150, said Kevin Koswick, head of its fleet operations. The F-150 will be the only half-ton pickup capable of running on compressed natural gas, or CNG, the company said in a statement.
Ford is seeking to further bolster its F-Series pickups, which have been the top-selling trucks in the U.S. for the past 36 years. Natural gas prices have fallen as U.S. production surged with horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Ford said the average U.S. price for CNG is equal to $2.11 a gallon, compared to $3.66 for regular gasoline.
The F-150 will be the eighth commercial vehicle that Ford will sell that can run on CNG.
Ford said it expects to sell more than 15,000 such vehicles this year, up at least 29 percent from 11,623 in 2012. The automaker started offering CNG-enabled commercial vehicles with its E-Series vans and has since added Super Duty large pickups, Transit Connect taxis and chassis-cab trucks that are used for mail delivery.
Buyers who choose the CNG-enabled 2014 F-150 will pay $315 for modifications at Ford’s factory. with hardened valves, pistons and rings that are capable of working with CNG.
Those customers would then complete the upgrades by selecting from among six Ford-approved companies, including Westport Innovations Inc., to supply fuel tanks, lines and injectors. The cost for the work by those companies ranges from about $7,500 to $9,500 depending on the size of the tank.
Last time I was shopping for a car I found zero cars available that used CNG. I also checked and the nearest CNG filling station was 45 miles away. The company that made the in-home station Phill, had gone out of business. This while gas was sitting around $2.