March 7, 2012
Westport Light Duty will begin producing bi-fuel Ford F-250 and F-350 Super Duty pickup trucks in May, the company said today at the NTEA Work Truck Show in Indianapolis, IN. The trucks are produced in a facility adjacent to Ford’s Louisville, KY, truck plant. As a result, said John Howell, senior marketing director, the trucks never leave Ford’s inventory control system and are not subject to re-entry fees or other charges typically associated with upfitting commercial vehicles.
Howell says Westport LD’s goal is to provide users with a key-ready experience. “When they take delivery of these vehicles and turn the key, we don’t what them to feel any difference than if they were sitting in a conventional Ford Super Duty truck,” he says. “And that holds true for the whole ownership experience in terms of maintenance and warranty. It will be transparent compared to a gasoline powered Ford Super Duty.”
Westport LD’s Super Duty models have a range from 200 to 350 miles when operating on CNG, depending on tank size. Overall vehicle range extends to over 600 miles when the 32 gallon gasoline tank is factored into the equation. “But unlike some competitive CNG models, there is no button allowing drivers to select between CNG and gasoline,” Howell notes. “Our research told us fleets perfer to have these trucks running on CNG as much as possible. So these Super Duty trucks iwll run on natural gas as long as it is present in the tank.” When the CNG tank runs by, the engine immediately and seamlessly switches to gasoline. Once the CNG is refilled, the truck reverts to natual gas the next time the truck is started.
The bi-fuel Super Dutys are designed to meet both EPA and CARB standards feature a 6.2L V-8 engine with hardened valves and seats. Virtually every Super Duty pickup configuration can be upfitted to a bi-fuel version, incuding 6.75- and 8-foot box lengths and 4×2 and 4×4 powertrain configurations.
Howell says Westport LD Super Dutys will retail for $9,750 over the base Super Duty sticker price, with an optional 24-gallon gasoline-equivalent tank available for an addition $1,200. As noted, production will begin in May, with trucks rolling off the assembly line during a slow ramp-up to full production in July of this year.