Last week we revealed how Ford is adding a new full-sized van to its range of commercial vehicles in the form of the new Ford Transit, and now we have heard that not only will this vehicle be appealing for those looking for a new adaptable full-sized van, but also those looking for a commercial vehicle that can run on alternative fuels. In a press release, the company stated that the new Transit, as well as the smaller Transit Connect, will be able to run on liquid propane gas (LPG) and compressed natural gas (CNG).
In the press release, Jon Coleman, Ford Fleet and Sustainability and Technology manager, said: “Since 2009, we’ve seen the number of Built Ford Tough commercial vehicles sold with factory-prepped engines for CNG/LPG upfit increase by more than 350 per cent. To expand power of choice for our commercial customers, we are offering CNG/LPG prepped engines in additional vehicle nameplates – from the Transit Connect compact van up to medium duty F-650 models.”
The press release went on to note the benefits of using alternative fuels in commercial vehicles, saying: “As gas prices continue to rise, CNG conversion can drastically lower vehicle operating costs for fleet administrators. CNG sells for an average of $2.10 per gallon, representing a significant savings over unleaded regular fuel, selling for a national average of $3.78 per gallon according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report. As the commercial vehicle market leader, Ford aims to provide sustainable solutions for a broad spectrum of its fleet customers.”
“CNG is made by compressing natural gas, which is mainly composed of methane. It is stored and distributed in hard containers at a pressure of 2,900 to 3,600 psi. About 86 per cent of the CNG used in the United States is produced domestically. Depending on the application and usage, businesses can see payback for CNG/LPG systems in as little as 24 to 36 months. Another benefit of this alternative fuel: Cleaner emissions. CNG usage can result in up to 30 per cent less greenhouse gas emissions according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.”
Commercial vehicle fleet managers will be pleased to hear that van manufacturers are starting to introduce technology that enables the use of alternative fuels into their mainstream fleets, especially as it will help them reduce fuel costs and emissions. However, before you invest in a vehicle of this kind make sure you research van insurance quotes to make sure that the new technology can be adequately covered by your insurance provider.