Though buyers of the Ford F-150 have enjoyed big gains in gas mileage in recent years, commercial-fleet owners must still contend with fluctuating gas prices that can have a negative impact on their bottom line. For businesses that would like to cut gas costs out of the equation altogether, certain models of the 2014 Ford F-150 are now rolling off the assembly line with the ability to run on compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).
Available with a factory-installed bi-fuel CNG/LPG engine package costing $315, the 2014 Ford F-150 with the 3.7-liter V6 is the only half-ton pickup truck offered with a gaseous-fuel-ready engine directly from the plant. Commercial buyers must then choose a Ford Qualified Vehicle Modifier to install the fuel system for somewhere in the range of $6,000 to $9,500; however, the significantly lower costs of CNG would help them achieve payback in a short period. At the time of this writing, the least expensive gallon of gas in Stoneham, Mass., is $3.37, while the gallon equivalent of CNG is priced at $2.49. Not only is CNG a cheaper alternative to oil, but its prices also fluctuate less and its emissions are cleaner.
“Fleet owners who opt for the CNG-capable Ford F-150 will not only notice a big drop in their operating costs but they will also be able to confidently plan ahead knowing their fuel expenditures aren’t going to skyrocket every time there’s a conflict in the Middle East,” said John Melkonian, general manager of Stoneham Ford, aMassachusetts Ford dealer. “As an added bonus, the CNG/LPG engine package features hardened valves, valve seats, pistons and rings so drivers can fill up on both gas and CNG in separate fuel tanks to drive a range of more than 750 miles without a pit stop.”
While the CNG-ready F-150 caters to commercial customers, retail buyers of the F-150 equipped with the gas-powered 3.5-liter V6 EcoBoost engine aren’t without their share of fuel savings. Ford announced in November that it had sold 400,000 units of the F-150 EcoBoost in the United States since the model’s launch in February 2011, and those trucks have collectively saved buyers an estimated 45 million gallons of gas when compared to the same amount of units of the 2010 Ford F-150 with a 5.4-liter V8 engine.