Ford has added two more platforms to its lineup of commercial vehicles available with a factory-installed preparation kit for either compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied petroleum gas systems (LPG). The F-450 and F-550 chassis cabs can now be ordered by fleet customers with all the fittings necessary to connect the alternative fuel tanks to the 6.8-liter V10 engines.
The gaseous fuels are popular options for fleet operators because of lower acquisition and operating costs. For one thing, CNG and LPG are typically taxed at a lower rate than either diesel or gasoline. Also, these vehicles are typically operated out of centralized depots where the companies can set up their own fuel stations to fill the vehicles each night. Engines running on CNG and propane also produce fewer emissions than either gasoline or diesel.
FORD EXPANDS ALTERNATIVE-FUEL CONVERSION CAPABILITY TO F-450, F-550 SUPER DUTY
- Ford tells top fleet customers it will introduce a new compressed natural gas (CNG) and propane (LPG, or liquefied petroleum gas) engine prep package for its 6.8-liter F-450 and F-550 Super Duty chassis cabs later this year
- The F-450 and F-550 offerings expand the breadth of Ford's CNG/LPG-capable commercial and government fleet lineup, including E-Series and – coming later this year – the 2011 Transit Connect, F-53 motor home chassis and new F-59 commercial strip chassis
- Ford has shipped more than 3,000 E-Series vans with CNG/LPG engine prep packages since last November
- CNG and LPG burn cleaner than gasoline, resulting in reduced greenhouse gas emissions
DEARBORN, Mich., June 7, 2010 – Ford today told some 500 North American fleet customers that it will begin offering an alternative-fuels engine prep package for its 6.8-liter F-450 and F-550 Super Duty chassis cab.
At the annual Ford Fleet Product and Business Conference in Dearborn, Ford presented details of the conversion option, which will become available this fall and enables the use of efficient, clean-burning compressed natural gas (CNG) or propane (LPG, or liquefied petroleum gas).
F-450 and F-550 Super Duty are Ford's latest commercial vehicles to get the alternative-fuel conversion option. Since introducing the option to E-Series and other commercial fleet vehicles last fall, Ford has shipped some 3,000 E-Series vans with CNG/LPG-prepped 5.4-liter and 6.8-liter gas engines to fleet operators such as Verizon and Schwan's Home Delivery Service.
Ford also offers the package on its Transit Connect, including its new Taxi offering with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gas engine. This fall, Ford also will add CNG/LPG capability to the F-53 motor home chassis and new F-59 commercial strip chassis.
The alt-fuel advantage
F-450 and F-550's 6.8-liter V-10 engine is well suited to CNG/LPG conversion. The engine comes with hardened exhaust valves and valve seats for improved wear resistance and durability for gaseous fuel systems.
CNG and LPG are increasingly popular choices for fleet operators looking to cut fuel cost and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. According to the EPA, CNG is less expensive and burns cleaner than gasoline, resulting in reduced CO2 emissions. Propane also burns cleaner than gasoline.
"Compressed natural gas and propane offer more than sufficient power for vehicles because they are high-energy fuels," said Rob Stevens, commercial vehicle chief engineer. "Other natural benefits for these fuels are overall lower emissions of greenhouse gases compared to gasoline and lower fuel/operating costs for their fleet."
Nearly 87 percent of natural gas used in the United States is domestically produced. There also are government tax credit incentives for fleets to convert to alternative fuels.
Ford provides calibration guidance to numerous highly competitive CNG and LPG upfitters for E-Series, F-Series and Transit Connect. By following Ford recommendations published in the Body Builders Advisory Service QVM Bulletin Q-185, the converted vehicle maintains its factory engine warranty.
Ford fleet leadership
Ford, the industry leader in commercial and government fleet sales, is the only manufacturer to offer 100 percent of its fleet vehicles this year with fuel-efficient powertrains and other sustainable technologies – including battery-electric, hybrid, natural gas, propane, E85, biodiesel and EcoBoost™ – making the Blue Oval the industry's greenest full-line fleet provider.
In 2009, Ford commanded the largest share of commercial and government fleet sales, with 32 percent and 44 percent, respectively.
Ford F-Series, Fusion, Escape, Taurus, Econoline and Ranger were the sales leaders in their respective commercial segments. F-Series, Crown Victoria and Econoline also were the top three sellers in the government fleet sector.
"Fleet customers are turning to Ford because our comprehensive product lineup provides solutions for virtually every need," said Kevin Koswick, director of Ford North American Fleet, Leasing and Remarketing Operations. "The quality, class-leading fuel economy and strong resale values of our vehicles provide a compelling value proposition."