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Ford F-150 CNG/LPG - gaseous uniqueness
The CNG/LPG (either-or, not simultaneously) option will be available for F-150's equipped with the 3,7-litre V6 engine. Preparing the motor to run on either gaseous fuel instead of petrol (by using reinforced valves, valve seats, pistons and piston rings) costs 315 dollars, but the full conversion process is priced at 7500-9500 dollars, depending on the type of fuel (CNG systems are generally more expensive) and features chosen (e. g. tank capacity). According to Ford, the initial investment will pay back within 2-3 years of purchase and the company aims to sell as many as 15 thousand CNG- or LPG-capable F-150's by the end of 2013.
Depending on tank used, Ford's converted pick-ups are declared to have range of up to 1200 kmon single refueling. Fuel economy is said to oscillate around 10 l/100 km (also for CNG, after doing some mathematical cubic-metre-to-litre trickery),
but more importantly both CNG and LPG are priced at approximately 2 dollars per gallon (or gallon equivalent) in the US (as compared to 3,66 dollars per gallon of petrol), which should make the cars attractive to fleet managers and individual users alike. Given the typically high annual mileages for such vehicles, savings should come in next to no time.
Ford offers standard warranty for the CNG/LPG F-150 (5 years or 60 thousand miles), just like for all its other utility models. Within such time and/or mileage, the conversion will definitely pay back and if the pick-ups are made to work really hard, it is quite possible they could save up so much as to allow the user to buy a new one. But there is more to it, still – the truck's debut goes to show the growing importance and popularity of gaseous fuels in the US. Hopefully the demand will soon grow enough to make passenger cars appear on Ford's (and other manufacturers') offer.
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