Pickup fleet owners have increasingly turned to alternative fuels as a way to cut fuel costs at a time where the price of a gallon of gasoline is never certain. Ford is offering potential customers yet another alt-fuel option with a new CNG/LPG package for V6-powered 2014 F-150 pickups, making it the most-affordable CNG pickup you can buy. While the total package isn’t cheap, over the long term fleet owners could see huge savings. Finally, a half-ton pickup with a CNG option.
The 2014 Ford F-150 CNG/LPG package costs just $315 per vehicle equipped, adding heavier-duty components to the 3.7 liter V6 engine. That’s just the first step though, as buyers will then have to seek out Ford-authorized CNG/LPG conversion specialists, and shell out another $7,500 to $9,500 to complete the conversion. That means you could, theoretically, have a CNG-capable half-ton pickup for around $32,000
This includes the addition of a fueling system and high-pressure fuel tank, which takes up a chunk of the rear bed space. Then again, with the largest CNG/LPG tank available, these F-150s can run up to 750 miles on a combination of gasoline and natural gas or propane while returning up to 23 mpg. Ford says that at a cost of $2.11 per gallon, the payback on these conversions is between 24 and 36 months.
It’s a tall order to ask fleet customers to shell out up to $10,000 more per vehicle, but many of these trucks see heavy use for a decade or more, meaning long-term savings for savvy business owners. Ford is also planning to release an all-new F-150 beginning next year, which makes me wonder if a CNG option won’t be offered from the get-go. As it stands, both GM and Chrysler offer heavy-duty pickups with CNG fueling systems, but the F-150 is the only half-ton pickup with the alt-fuel option.
Even if it is though, it won’t be until these alt-fuel systems reach cost parity with gasoline cars that we see mass adoption. There’s also the idea of offering smaller, shorter-range CNG conversions with a lower cost of entry, though interest in CNG conversions is on the rise. Perhaps there is a place for both solutions?
Tell us in the comments below, would you rather spend more money upfront for bigger savings later, or opt for a cheaper CNG conversion with shorter range?