Ford To Offer Natural Gas, Propane Pickups For Fleets

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) -- Ford Motor Co. will soon offer engines that run on natural gas or propane to fleet customers that use the F-450 and F-550 line of pickup trucks.

Ford has told roughly 500 fleet customers that it will provide conversions for engines later this year. The features will be available in the 6.8 liter F-450 and F-550 Super Duty chassis cabs.

Ford said the two fuels are popular with fleet customers because they produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions than gas powered engines and lower fuel costs.

New technology used by energy companies has freed up an enormous supply of natural gas once thought to be too expensive to retrieve.

Combined with pending climate change legislation, major industries including utility companies have switched increasingly to natural gas.

One of the biggest hurdles to using natural gas or propane in vehicles is the lack of infrastructure in the U.S. to supply the fuel to motorists.

That's not as much of an issue for companies that use large numbers of vehicles because they can set up their own fueling stations and save money.

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