Santa Ana, California-based California Yellow Cab has ordered 25 units of the compressed natural gas (CNG) and propane (LPG) engine prep package for the Ford Transit Connect Taxi. The engine prep package enables conversion of the Transit Connect to CNG or LPG.
California Yellow Cab of Santa Ana will convert its Transit Connects to CNG, to take advantage of the availability of natural gas fueling stations in Orange County. With the acquisition, Tim Conlon, president of California Yellow Cab, expects to become the first taxi company in the Southern California to operate half of its fleet (220-vehicles) on natural gas. California Yellow Cab began using natural gas in 2002.
The flexible interior of the Transit Connect is suited for both taxi service and conversion to CNG and LPG. The vehicle’s 135 cubic feet of cargo space accommodates a compressed gas tank while leaving ample passenger legroom and cargo capacity.
To serve taxi operators, Ford will provide calibration guidance for the CNG or LPG conversion. By properly following Ford’s recommendations, the conversion can be completed without voiding the engine’s warranty.
Driving interest in Transit Connect Taxi in California is the mandate of many of its municipalities adopting standards for fleet operators to use cleaner, low-carbon fuels. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, CNG is less expensive and burns cleaner than gasoline, resulting in 30 percent to 40 percent less greenhouse gas emissions. Propane also burns cleaner than gasoline.
Transit Connect is one of several Ford vehicles that offer CNG/LPG conversion capability. Ford has shipped more than 3,000 CNG/LPG-prepped engines for its E-Series vans with 5.4-liter and 6.8-liter gas engines. A similar package will be introduced for F-Series Super Duty trucks this year.