Ford has announced that the 2014 F-150 pickup with a 3.7-liter V6 engine will become its latest vehicle to offer a new dual-fuel option that will permit it to operate on compressed natural gas or liquefied petroleum gas as well as on regular pump gasoline. The ability for the 2014 F-150 to run on either of these cleaner-burning and lower-cost alternatives to gasoline will earn Ford bragging rights as being the only manufacturer to offer a CNG/LPG-capable half-ton pickup.

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The conversion is a two-stage process that starts at the factory, where Ford performs all of the necessary basic engine prep work for $315. From there, the customer selects a Ford Qualified Vehicle Modifier who completes the installation by adding the appropriate-sized pressure tank, fuel lines and unique injectors. That procedure generally runs about $7,500 to $9,500 depending on fuel tank capacity and can give the CNG/LPG F-150 a range in excess of 750 miles.

Ford notes that with CNG currently selling for the equivalent of $2.11 per gallon and regular gas averaging $3.66 per gallon, the option is becoming increasingly attractive for many potential buyers. "Businesses and fleet customers have been asking Ford to make F-150 available with CNG capability to take advantage of the fuel's low price and clean emissions," said Jon Coleman, Ford fleet sustainability and technology manager. "With the money saved using CNG, customers could start to see payback on their investment in as little as 24 to 36 months." There's a significant green benefit as well, as Coleman points out that the F-150 -- which averages 23 mpg on the freeway - has about 30 percent lower levels of greenhouse gas emissions when operating on CNG.

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Ford has enjoyed continued success with its CNG/LPG-capable vehicles since introducing the option in 2009. It expects to sell a total of 15,000 units this year -- a 25 percent bump from 2012 - and is aiming for 18,000 in 2014 when it will offer CNG/LPG conversions on eight different commercial applications, from the Transit Connect to the F-550 Super Duty chassis cab.

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