CNG is a natural for V8 Ford F-150 in 2016

Starting in 2016, the latest Ford F-150 will be available with a CNG/propane prep package for its 5.0-liter V8.

The $315 option includes strengthened valves and valve seats designed to be compatible with the gaseous fuels, and it is aimed primarily at commercial fleets. Ford offered a similar package on the last-generation V6-equipped F-150, but says customer interest drove it to switch to the V8 for the new truck.

The actual fueling systems are sold through a network of certified suppliers and run from $7,500-$9,500, while bulk CNG and propane can cost well under $2 per gallon equivalent in some states. The package will be available on XL, XLT, Lariat and King Ranch trim levels, and with all cab configurations.

The modifications don't affect the towing and payload ratings of the trucks beyond the weight of the systems. However, these can take up a fair amount of bed space, particularly the bi-fuel configurations that maintain a truck's native ability to run on gasoline and allow it to switch between the two fuel sources.

Ford also offers CNG/propane prep kits on its vans, and throughout its super and heavy duty truck lineups. It sold 16,821 total last year, which represents a small percentage of its overall sales, but was more than four-times as many as it sold in 2010, reflecting the rapid growth in interest in the alternative fuels, even as gasoline prices have remained low.

General Motors and Ram have several CNG/propane options available for their heavy duty trucks, but the F-150 is the currently the only pickup in the light duty segment with one. Deliveries are scheduled to begin at the end of the year.