Ford F-150s to Run on Nat Gas; BMW Launches All-Electric i3

by | Aug 1, 2013

Ford F-150 to Offer Ability to Run on Compressed Natural GasFord’s 2014 F-150 will give customers the option of a gaseous-fuel prep kit on its 3.7-liter V6 engine, making it capable of running on compressed natural gas or liquefied petroleum gas. The truck will be Ford’s eighth CNG/LPG vehicle, the automaker said.

The 2014 model, available this fall, will have a factory-installed, gaseous-fuel prep package that includes hardened valves, valve seats, pistons and rings so it can operate on either natural gas or gasoline through separate fuel systems.

The kit costs about $315, not including fuel tanks, fuel lines and unique fuel injectors, which a Ford-approved vehicle modifier must install. Upfits cost an estimated $7,500 to $9,500 depending on fuel tank capacity, Ford said.

The automaker estimates that the customers will see a return on investment in 24 to 36 months based on the fuel savings over unleaded regular fuel.

Ford said it expects to sell more than 15,000 CNG/LPG-prepped vehicles this year, and that it will be the only manufacturer with an available CNG/LPG-capable half-ton pickup. Depending on tank size, the vehicle can drive more than 750 miles on one tank of gas.

Meanwhile, BMW has introduced its new i3 electric car, available in European and US markets in fall 2013, and most other markets in the second quarter of 2014.

The car is the first product of the automaker’s new i sub-brand. The i3 is a purpose-built electric car, designed at the outset to incorporate an all-electric drive system rather than a converted design, the automaker said.

The passenger cell is constructed of carbon fiber reinforced plastic, which is 50 percent lighter than steel and 30 percent lighter than aluminum. The vehicle total weight is about 2,700 lbs, BMW said.

The drive module is 100 percent aluminum with a 22-kWh 450 lb., lithium-ion battery mounted in the rear close to the drive wheels. The car’s range is 80 to 100 miles per charge; recharging takes about three hours, and there is a fast-charge option available, BMW said.

Photo credit: Ford

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