Starting with the 2014 model year, for the first time Ford will be offering F-150 buyers the option of running on compressed natural gas or liquid propane gas in addition to gasoline. Automotive News reports that interested can spec a F-150 with the 3.7 liter V6 engine, and then receive a factory-installed CNG/LPG prep package that includes hardened valves, valve seats, pistons and rings. The actual conversions would be done by six CNG/LPG conversion companies that have been certified by Ford as “qualified vehicle modifiers”. As long as the conversion is done by one of those six firms, Ford will honor all factory warranties on the engine. Depending on the size of the fuel tank that’s installed, the cost of the conversions will be between $8,000 and $11,000 a vehicle, but running on gas can be significantly cheaper than running on gasoline or diesel, and the cost of the conversion can be more than paid back over the life of the vehicle.
A gallon of CNG is currently averaging $2.06 in the U.S. Ford projects that it will sell 25% more CNG/LPG prepared vehicles this year than last, more than 15,000 trucks. Since the F-150 pickup is Ford’s biggest selling vehicle in general, 2014 will likely see a significant increase as well. Ford now offers nearly all of its commercial vehicles with the CNG/LPG prep package, including the Transit Connect, the upcoming Transit full size vans, E-series ‘Econoline’ vans, F-series Super Duty trucks & chassis cabs in both F-350 and F-550 sizes, the F-650 medium duty truck and now the F-150.