The state of Oklahoma and the city of Dallas join a handful of others as the two newest buyers of compressed natural gas (CNG) Ford vehicles. Their most recent investment in CNG vehicles shows their commitment to using a cleaner, more affordable fuel source. The growing popularity among CNG vehicles has Ford taking notes and preparing for future CNG endeavors. Since 2010, Ford CNG-prepped truck sales have increased more than 250 percent, said Jon Coleman, Ford fleet sales manager. Cumulative sales are expected to exceed 50,000 trucks by the end of the year, and Ford expects demand for CNG-prepped vehicles to continue growing as more fleet customers recognize the economic and environmental benefits of this clean-burning fuel.
CNG-powered trucks lower costs and offer emissions benefits, and the alternative fuel is domestically produced, Coleman explained. Operating costs can be as low as one third that of conventional vehicles. Typically, the fuel savings cover the cost of conversion within three years.
“For fleet customers in Oklahoma, Texas and other states, a CNG F-150 really makes sense,” Coleman said. “The fuel is more affordable and widely available, and it reduces greenhouse gases and pollutants that cause smog.”
The 2014 F-150 is available with a gaseous-fuel prep option for the 3.7-liter V6 that can run on CNG or liquefied petroleum gas. CNG/LPG engine prep from the factory costs $315. The customer then 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 tank capacity.
For fleet managers, CNG conversions can provide stability against fluctuating fuel prices, lower vehicle operating costs and reduce pollutants. CNG sells for a national average $2.11 per gallon of gasoline equivalent, and is as low as $1 in parts of the country. By comparison, the national average for unleaded regular gas is $3.67 per gallon.
Customers can also accelerate the payback period by taking advantage of a growing number of incentives issued by states such as Oklahoma.
CNG prices in Oklahoma vary from $1.07 to $2.49 per gallon of gasoline equivalent. The average statewide price for a gallon of regular gas is $3.43. Fuel bills could be reduced as much as 67 percent with CNG vehicles, Coleman said.
Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas have expressed interest in Ford CNG-capable vehicles, Coleman said.
The specially equipped bi-fuel F-150 model purchased by Oklahoma features two storage tanks – the regular factory gasoline reservoir and a supplementary CNG tank. Combined, this gives the light-duty truck a range of up to 750 miles, depending on the size of the tanks. The most common configuration allows fleet operators to go 450 miles on CNG alone and another 300 miles on regular gas.
By this summer, Ford will offer eight commercial vehicles with a gaseous-prep option, more than any other full-line manufacturer:
2015 Transit Connect van and wagon
2015 Transit van, wagon, cutaway and chassis cab
2014 E-Series van, wagon, cutaway and stripped chassis
2015 F-Series Super Duty pickup
2015 F-Series Super Duty chassis cab
2015 F-650 medium-duty truck
2015 F53 and F59 stripped chassis
2014 F-150 light-duty pickup
Until these vehicles become available later this summer, you can browse the current line of Ford vehicles by heading over to Bill Fick Ford off the I-45 frontage road. You can also browse our extensive inventory online by visiting www.BillFickFord.com. See you soon!