Ford, GM Open Door for Natural-Gas V-8 Pickups

Impco

Got gas?

A battle is brewing in the world of fuel for full-size trucks. Ford and GM announced this week that they’ll invest in technology and partnerships to allow their V-8 pickups to run on compressed natural gas, or CNG.

The move is aimed at providing commercial truck users a more economical way to power their fleets and take advantage of the fact the fuel is sourced in North America.

Companies like Roush, Westport and IMPCO have long been huge CNG conversion centers for large and small businesses that have wanted to convert their fleet vehicles to the much less expensive fuel. With Ford and GM jumping into the fuel-system conversion segment, they’ll have more control over installation quality and warranty issues. 

Right now, GM is the only manufacturer that provides a single-source commercial option with the Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana CNG cargo vans. Adding a bifuel CNG pickup truck will likely help satisfy a broader range of needs for commercial customers looking for a one-stop alternative-fuel vehicle from the factory. This also will allow business owners to spend less on costly upfitting.

“GM’s original equipment is engineered, validated and warranted, which makes the decision to purchase our bifuel pickup trucks easy,” said Joyce Mattman GM’s director of commercial product and specialty vehicles. “Like our CNG vans, this turnkey product will be the best solution in the market and makes good business sense.”

The bifuel commercial trucks will be covered by GM’s three-year, 36,000-mile new-vehicle limited warranty and five-year, 100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty and vehicle emissions warranty, meeting all EPA and California Air Resources Board emission certification requirements.

The Ford F-250 and F-350 Super Duty will be available with Westport’s WiNG bifuel system. 

“We’re seeing strong customer interest across the spectrum from fleets of all shapes and sizes for a factory-validated product, as more and more owners understand the economic and operational benefits of a cleaner fuel that’s sourced right here in North America,” said Ian Scott, president of Westport LD.

Engineered at the new Westport facility in Plymouth, Mich., WiNG systems will be installed in the F-250 and F-350 pickups and will be ready to roll when they reach Ford dealers. They are designed to meet EPA and CARB standards. The conversion requires the changing of only a handful of parts and is reported to offer only small decreases in overall power. Towing and payload numbers are unaffected. 

 

Comments

This is the question I asked the RAM guys during the live chat a couple of weeks ago. This fuel is clean and abundant so we need to use it. It also allows us to keep the internal combustion engine....good ol' American V8 sounds.....

If you are lucky enough to have NG service at home (I am not), I read somewhere that you can buy the equipment in order to fill-up at home. I don't know how practical and expensive it is. However this is something I would look into.

Go Ford! Once again GM is garbage and is barely limping along with taxpayer money to keep up with Ford!

Go to a website called CNG now! They have an abundant amount of information regarding CNG. This move by GM and Ford is but a small step toward the larger picture. Yes, there is equipment you can purchase to fuel up in your own garage if you have NG in your house. It takes awhile, but while you are parked for the evening you can fill up. There is a bill pending in congress that would promote the infatructure to start creating more fill stations, which shouldn't be a problem also some cash incentive to convert newer model vehicles. I'm waiting for when it becomes an option for consumers to buy a vehicle that runs on CNG. Right now only Honda makes a Civic that runs on CNG. Voted green vehicle eight years in a row.

With natural gas rates so low for so long, this was inevitable.

I wonder how many CNG trucks it will take on the road to drive up the price so it's equal with other energy sources?

@Minnesota Bob

Could you please stop with the childish comments. Nobody cares if you hate gm. The fact is this article has nothing to do with tax payer money or the bailouts. They happened, they saved tons of jobs, the company is successful, and are now the treasury is waiting for gm's stock to hit a higher mark so they break even or make a profit when they sell the remaining shares.

Grow up!!

Ford offers direct from the factory the CNG prep packagre which means that all that Westport does is add the fuel lines and injectors and tank. All internal parts are special for the CNG.

Hmmmm... use an energy source we pump locally? That won't work, they won't be able to blame foreign countries for the coming spike in prices. I'm guessing it won't go any further than this.

@Colt C- you are correct. The same goes for the Ram CNG prep.
@alfy- quick search turned this Up:
http://www.autoobserver.com/2011/03/brc-fuelmaker-again-selling-phill-home-cng-fuel-station.html

A nice step in the right direction.

Go Ford Motors and General Motors!!!

Here we go again! Ford just wont stop copying everything GM does! They should force a Ford shutdown for stealing so much from GM!

Relax Bobbeh Hill


Nobody is copying nobody, it is a partnership just like they did with the 6-Speed Transmission in SUV's

Bobbeh, is hung up on conspiracy theories.

When I was stationed in Europe with the US military in the 70's there were a lot of cars that ran on both gasoline and CNG, and both fuels, along with diesel, were dispensed at the same Esso, Shell, BP, and Total gas stations.

We briefly owned a used Fiat 128 stationwagon and later a used Lada sedan that ran on both gas and CNG. The CNG was even cheaper at retail than the Esso gas was at subsidized military coupon prices. So a lot of GIs chose to buy the CNG out of pocket rather than pay the BX/PX for higher-priced gas coupons.

You don't go as far on CNG as you do on gasoline but the CNG tank is much bigger and takes up most of the trunk space, or in the case of the station wagon, most of your luggage rack space on top of the car.

Another benefit is that you don't have to change engine oil as often because CNG is a much cleaner fuel. In both the 128 and the Lada, the oil change that I did on them when I bought them lasted the next owners more than a whole year after I sold the car.

There was a cardboard test strip sold at stores and service stations there that indicated when oil needed to be changed, similar to a litmus test. Nasty, contaminated oil changed the color of the paper strip. New oil did not.

In the US CNG is not widely available and that may be a disadvantage to sales, limiting sales to regions where such an infrastructure already exists.

Not everyone is thrilled with the additional costs of flex-fuel engines being distributed over the entire vehicle line since very few people actually make use of the flex-fuel capability of an engine.

Most, by far, stick to plain old gasoline. CNG may change that, but not until a new CNG dispenser is added at gas stations. And that will cost some serious money.

Calling all Bobs, nobody cares.....except for Bigger Bob, his comment was intelligible.

Thank you Toyota!

I'm thinking maybe 20 years ago I was seeing a large number of propane and a lesser degree CNG conversions being installed. There were three problems that arose.
1. Initial installations didn't function well in colder climates, newer kits or retrofits remedied the problem.
2. You needed a huge monster sized tank to get the comparible range to gasoline.
3. Increased demand increased fuel prices to the point it was no longer profitable to do a conversion.
The beauty of a factory "kit" is that purchase prices should be lower.
You still need a big tank to have a decent range.
What about filling stations? In my region there are plenty of propane refueling stations, but just the odd CNG site.
The 2 local taxi fleets were CNG for a while, but since the big boat Crown Vics are gone, newer smaller cars don't have the fuel tank space. I see tons of Prius's as taxi's.

Alternative energy source useage is a good thing. It helps us old school farts hang onto our V8's a bit longer.

@BOB BOB BOB, Thanks, glad i am not considers the same as the other Bobs.

Just another thing that Ford is trying to do better then GM. Too bad Ford can not even come close to GM's trucks. Ford, what a piece of JUNK! I just love watching the Ford frame twist like a pretzel in the comparison between the one ton Chevy and Ford pickups.

Greg

Ford is already doing everything better and without the Government's help

People just can't handle the truth that GM makes better trucks that sell more and have more innovative ideas! Ford has finally released new engines and hey are still being beat by the proven engines of GM! GM wins every test to Ford yet the blind sheep still believe in Ford and their empty ideas like egoboost! That over glorified v6 is beaten by the good proven 5.3 v8!
Ford even took bailout but all the Ford cheerleaders will deny it!
GM wins!

@Bobbeh, did you always cry when you lose races?

You are a sore loser!

Not that demand will rise for NG, does that mean that we'll see higher heating bills?

Who ever says that Ford survived with out government help needs to educate yourself before you make yourself look stupid.

GM/Chryco got bailed out? They still filed for Bankruptcy.

Did Ford file for Bankruptcy?

You are a DOLT, Fred! Hey Barney is calling you because the rear end of the impala fell apart.

@DeBinder Dundett Why not more LPG rather than CNG? I know here that CNG tends to have a more negative connatation then LPG and CNG is used in Urban buses rather private vehicles.

Frank, Ford took the federal loan in 2008 plus 5.9B for R&D, how is that not government help?

Whats falling apart are the rear ends of the Windstars/Freestars. Impala has misalignment. And I wouldn't know who Barney is.

Good News!

Amongst all this hybrid news ''which turns my stomach'' this is something I can smile about!

Go FORD!

...And even comming from a ford guy....Go GM as well!

@ Fred
Key word there is LOAN and paid it back tell me again how GM paid there's back and how much they paid back

Why can't people have common sense? How is a LOAN not help? when someone buys a house, they get a LOAN, otherwise they can't buy a house, in other words they get help to buy a house. Ford got help to stay afloat. You know Ford was the first one to fail back in 2006, then they got 23B loan and they started to restructure. In 2008 when other companies got in trouble they couldn't get that loan that Ford got in 2006. And yes GM will repay it's debt. Tell me this, would you rather have GM close it's doors?

@Fred - If the largest automotive company in the world cannot stand on its own 2 feet - yes.
Darwin's theory of natural selection ie. the strong survive is how the business world is supposed to run.

Fred
yes as a matter of fact i would have because they would have fingered out something, it does not work to give a company money that cannot manage there own money, tell me how many people have lost there jobs and can't get loans because of all the money they (gm) got and now are sending jobs over seas,

look i am not here to defend Ford but there are two differences that i see Ford LOANED money to stay a float because they were in trouble no doubt, but what a lot of people can't seem to grasp it that GM got bailout and filed for bankruptcy me as a business owner that struggled to make ends meet in '08 did not receive any help from the government please tell me again how this is fair

Dan, Guess what? there would of been much much more job loses than we had I'm sure that we'd be in depression still with no more American automakers left (including Ford), would you like that? how many employees did you have? GM has thousands. I lost my business in 2009, and I'm not blaming GM for it. Government didn't spend that much money bailing out GM, banks took the most! I'm actually happy we have GM who now opens the factories back up, expanding their current factories, and builds more vehicles in US then anyone else, even Sonic, the only vehicle in it's class that's being built in USA!

@Fred,

A loan is not a bailout, a loan is just that, A LOAN.

Answer me this, if GM got bailed out, why did they still file for bankruptcy? With that said, all debt was wiped out and we still gave them a couple of billions. SHADY, SCREW GM!

Frank, That's something you wouldn't understand, go play with your Barney!

@Fred,

You have no answer. Your as dumb as Barney Rubble!

Ford took bailout and they get beat by GM! Ford cheerleaders cannot deny it! GM wins again!

T Boone Pickens has been pushing CNG for a while now. I'm not too keen about driving among mini Hindenburg's. Lots of money need be spend on infrastructure too. I suppose reduced gasoline/diesel demand would be a plus.

When Ford removes the allowance from its balance sheet, it will record the accounting move as a “special item for the quarter” to avoid “a large negative effective tax rate,” it said in its filing. Without the allowance, The Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker said it would “experience more normal effective tax rates, approaching the U.S. statutory rate of 35 percent.”

Ford, which hasn’t paid U.S. taxes since 2005, may not pay federal taxes until the end of the decade because it still would have tax-loss benefits on its books from $31.4 billion in operating losses sustained from 2005 to 2009, said Brian Johnson, a Chicago-based analyst with Barclays Capital Management.

hey atleast GM pays their taxes

It is easy to pay taxes when you have no bills!

@Fred - would letting GMC and Chrysler fend for themselves be the end of the world like many would have us believe?
NO.
Chrysler is much smaller and would of been taken over by someone.
GMC being too big to gobble up in one bite would not of survived as the large entity that it is. The most likely scenario is that various large companies in the world would of picked over the carcass that was GMC and it would of continued on in various smaller forms.
One benefit would be that the UAW would have to start from scratch.
Even if GMC did completely, and totally disappear from the face of the earth, then what?
That still would not be the end of the world.
Ford, Fiat, Toyota, Tata, or whomever would employ more people, and increase their capacity to compensate for the void left by GMC.
It would of been short to intermediate pain, but long term gain.
All of these bailouts of banks and business may not help at all. You don't borrow money to pay off borrowed money.
There are many that feel we still will see a global financial collapse.
Problem is, big government's intervention in big business has left government in a weakened state and less likely to successfully withstand a collapse. Case in point - USA's downgrade in status as an entity whom can safely pay back borrowed money.

To put it more simply - did the world end with the demise of the dinosaurs?

Lou, I didn't say that it'll be end of the world if GM was to close it's doors, Yes Toyota, VW, or Fiat would fill it's spot, but already crippled Ford would go down with the largest automaker in the world because most of it's suppliers would go down with it. In reality nobody knows how it would go down, and it's a good thing that GM still exists and doing well.

The entire world economy would fail because everything is connected to GM! The human race's existence would not be in existence if GM shut its doors and thats fact! However Ford is different, it can fail with no negative effects, in fact its better if Ford went under because that would just mean more business for the superior GM! Then the world's economy would get strong again, but it cant if you got a copycat corporation with empty promises that build crappy vehicles! Ford should just be banned for safety reasons alone! Everything they build catches fire, fails crash tests and falls apart within 4 years, thats why they won't have a nice warranty like GM's 100,000 mile/5 year warranty! GM wins forever! All facts you cant deny!

@Bobbeh - quote "All facts you cant deny!"

True.
I don't deny facts

Planet Doorquad must have its own unique set of unifying priciples of physics, space and time.

You are to truth and logic, what a black hole is to light and matter.

Girls, girls, girls, You're all pretty! LOL

FWIW, for the record I was against all bail outs. Like many Americans who paid taxes because they are employed, the mis-use of tax money on failed businesses just blows my mind.

How can the government in its infinite wisdom decide which businesses get to live another day at tax payer expense, and which are allowed to die gracefully because their time had passed. GM and Chrysler were dead. So were many in the financial industry.

But we are stuck with those bail out decisions that were made for us by our elected officials and we will pay dearly for it.

That could a be a reason why so many people are bailing out of the work force voluntarily and starting to draw social security retirement benefits early instead of working and paying taxes.

If you don't like bail outs, buy only from companies that were not bailed out. That's what that Ford ad was all about that got the Obama administration all upset at Alan Mulally and Ford had to pull it.

Ford later said that was planned but we all know that was BS because you don't pull an effective ad. You play the hell out of it and get your message out.

@Debinder Dundett - that ad lives on in cyberspace.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qg5eSM5cJdU&NR=1
The fellow in the ad posted on U-Tube about accusations of a staged video.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_e7KBxzmz9M&feature=related
News coverage
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teWLm7F4ksI&feature=related
more coverage
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIAm3qq4cZk

Who the heck is this Bobbeh, chap? He has a wicked sense of humor. The rubbish that is spilling out of his mouth is bloody insane! Perhaps this fellow is actually The Stig? He has too much of a jolly good time getting people worked-up.

The Air Force has been using CNG trucks and vans, Ford and Chevy out west for at least 15 yrs now. I've been going to Nellis AFB for the past 15 yrs and everytime I go I end up getting a CNG vehicle. The only thing that sucks is the mileage isnt great.

@Rob - that is true mpg drops, but guys don't mind as long as it is offset by the cheeper price.

There are 14 million + CNG vehicles in the World today.
And Pakistan has 2.8 million of them.

I see some Ford Transit CNG taxis here and those vehicles have lot of space to house the CNG cylinder.

Hope all companies join the CNG in a big way.



Post a Comment

Please remember a few rules before posting comments:

  • Try to be civil to your fellow blog readers.
  • Stay on topic. We want to hear your opinions and thoughts, but please only comment about the specified topic in the blog post.
  • Your email will not be shown.

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In

Home | Buy or Sell a Truck | News | Special Reports

Powered by Cars.com. By using this site, you agree to our terms of service | © 2014 Cars.com | Privacy Statement | Contact Us

Visit our partner: MovingTruck.com