Ford has experimented with alternative fuels before. The 2014 F-150 offered a natural gas conversion kit for the 3.7-liter V6, but according to Ford this is the only new light-duty pickup capable of running on CNG or propane from the factory.
“We surveyed customers likely to use natural gas or propane, and 72 percent told us they want to have these alternative-fuel capabilities available on F-150 with the 5.0-liter V8 engine,” said Jon Coleman, Ford’s fleet sustainability manager. “We expect the gaseous-fuel prep package will be even more popular than it was on the 2014 F-150 with the 3.7-liter V6 engine, given the capability of the 2016 F-150 5.0-liter V8.”
To prep the truck, Ford’s engineers will upgrade the V8’s intake and exhaust valves as well as the valve seats, which will run the customer an extra $315 over the truck’s standard price. After that, buyers must choose a Ford Qualified Vehicle Modifier to supply the fuel tanks, lines, and injectors, which can run anywhere from $7,500 to $13,000.
Ford assures that tow ratings with CNG or propane fuel will be the same as the gas-powered V8, although payload will suffer slightly with the added weight of the new fueling system.
As of April 30th, 2015, CNG sells for an average of $2.11 per gallon equivalent in the U.S., compared to the national average of $2.58 per gallon of unleaded gasoline, and $2.81 per gallon of diesel.
On May 5th, Chevrolet similarly announced the arrival of a CNG-capable Silverado 3500HD Chassis Cab. Both two-wheel and four-wheel drive models will have ‘bi-fuel’ abilities, meaning it will have separate tanks for CNG and gas, and will be available starting in the fourth quarter.