Press Releases

CARB Certifies Propane Engine in Blue Bird Buses to Lowest NOx in the Market

ROUSH CleanTech develops first .05 NOx propane engine, new fuel system cleanest in class 4-7 vehicles and Blue Bird Type C school buses

LIVONIA, MICH. (June 7, 2017) — ROUSH CleanTech has developed the first propane autogas engine available in class 4-7 vehicles and Blue Bird Type C buses certified to the optional low nitrogen oxide (NOx) level .05 g/bhp-hr. These new Environmental Protection Agency- and California Air Resources Board-certified propane engines are 75 percent cleaner than the current emissions standard.

“ROUSH CleanTech’s low NOx engine is a great step forward for the propane industry,” said Tucker Perkins, president of the Propane Education & Research Council. “Propane autogas is well established as an economical, clean-burning and domestically produced alternative fuel ideal for fleets. Now propane gets the biggest return on NOx reductions, too.”

Nitrogen oxides are a group of gases known as a primary contributor to acid rain, smog and other air quality issues. The EPA states that exposure to NOx can trigger health problems such as asthma and other respiratory issues. CARB has encouraged heavy-duty engine manufacturers to reduce levels below the current mandatory EPA standard of .2 grams per brake horsepower per hour (known as g/bhp-hr).

“Equipping the Blue Bird Vision with the lowest NOx propane engine makes the best-selling school bus in the industry even better,” said Phil Horlock, president and CEO of Blue Bird. “That’s great news for the environment, our customers and our children. Blue Bird’s propane school bus is the industry leader for lowest total cost of ownership and hassle-free maintenance, while creating a cleaner and safer environment for us all.”

The certification covers ROUSH CleanTech 6.8L V10 3V propane engines for school bus and commercial truck engines with no additional upfront cost. ROUSH CleanTech has begun installing the new low NOx engines in its Ford commercial vehicles and Blue Bird Vision propane school buses with 2017MY engines.

“Developing the lowest NOx propane engine sends a message that this fuel is comparable to other alternative fuels from a standpoint of emissions,” said Todd Mouw, vice president of sales and marketing for ROUSH CleanTech. “With our nation’s ample supply of propane and the fuel’s favorable total cost of ownership, our propane autogas engine is the perfect mix of environmental and economic sustainability.”

Over the past year, NOx awareness has increased due to the Volkswagen emissions compliance issue. The Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust was created to fund actions with cleaner technology that reduce excess emissions of NOx. “Our .05g NOx engine certification will help our school bus and public transit customers target funds from the upcoming VW Environmental Mitigation Trust program,” said Mouw. “This is especially beneficial for school districts looking for extra funds to replace aging diesel models.”

About Blue Bird Corporation: Blue Bird is the leading independent designer and manufacturer of school buses, with more than 550,000 buses sold since its formation in 1927 and approximately 180,000 buses in operation today. Blue Bird’s longevity and reputation in the school bus industry have made it an iconic American brand. Blue Bird distinguishes itself from its principal competitors by its singular focus on the design, engineering, manufacture and sale of school buses and related parts. As the only manufacturer of chassis and body production specifically designed for school bus applications, Blue Bird is recognized as an industry leader for school bus innovation, safety, product quality/reliability/durability, operating costs and drivability. In addition, Blue Bird is the market leader in alternative fuel applications with its propane-powered and compressed natural gas-powered school buses. Blue Bird manufactures school buses at two facilities in Fort Valley, Georgia. Its Micro Bird joint venture operates a manufacturing facility in Drummondville, Quebec, Canada. Service and after-market parts are distributed from Blue Bird’s parts distribution center located in Delaware, Ohio.

About ROUSH CleanTech: ROUSH CleanTech, an industry leader of alternative fuel vehicle technology, is a division of ROUSH Enterprises based in Livonia, Michigan. ROUSH CleanTech designs, engineers, manufactures and installs propane autogas fuel system technology for medium-duty Ford commercial vehicles, and Type A and Type C Blue Bird school buses, and compressed natural gas fuel systems for Type C Blue Bird school buses. As a Ford QVM-certified alternative fuel vehicle manufacturer, ROUSH CleanTech delivers economical, clean and domestically produced fueling options for fleets across North America. Learn more at ROUSHcleantech.com or by calling 800.59.ROUSH.

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For More Information:
Gregg Voss | TSN Communications
224.542.9530 | gvoss@tsncommunications.com

As a Blue Bird customer for over 25 years, our district has a solid Blue Bird fleet of the Vision, All American and Micro Bird buses. We choose to standardize our fleet to solely Blue Bird because of the quality of the buses. Our Blue Bird school buses are dependable, our drivers love driving the buses and we receive excellent parts and service support from Blue Bird and our local dealer, New York Bus Sales.
Fred Paye
Director of Transportation
Hilton Central School District
Hilton, NY

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