Ford Motor Co. plans to offer a natural gas option for its 2014 F-150 pickup truck in response to increasing demand from businesses and fleet customers.
Businesses and fleet customers -- a group focused on reducing costs and lowering emissions -- have been asking Ford to make its half-ton pickup truck capable of running off of liquefied petroleum gas or compressed natural gas, Jon Coleman, Ford's fleet sustainability and technology manager said in a statement.
The automaker already offers CNG-equipped vehicles. Until now, they've all been large commercial and transit vehicles. This latest offering is unique because the F-150 is used by small and large businesses as well as everyday folks.
In other words, this has the potential of expanding its relatively small CNG market to retail buyers.
Ford began offering CNG-prepped vehicles in 2009. The company says it's on pace to sell more than 15,000 CNG/LPG vehicles this year, an increase of more than 25 percent from 2012.
The CNG-equipped truck is capable of achieving more than 750 miles on one tank of gas, depending on the tank size selected. Ford estimates customers will begin to see payback on their investment in 24 to 36 months. Ford says CNG sells for an average of $2.11 per gallon of gasoline equivalent, compared to an average of $3.66 for unleaded regular fuel.
Photo: Ford Motor Co.