School districts and transportation contractors can now purchase buses fueled by compressed natural gas that are 90 percent cleaner than the national emissions standard, opening more opportunities for funding that supports reduced emissions. Because of this, Blue Bird has become the first to offer a CNG school bus to reduce emissions.
“Our customers want bus innovations that are environmentally friendly and allow them to access emissions-based grant funding, and the Blue Bird Vision CNG bus delivers,” said Phil Horlock, president and CEO of Blue Bird Corporation. “This is a huge step for Blue Bird and the school bus industry as we continue to be the first to bring the newest and cleanest engine technology into our lineup of buses.”
ROUSH CleanTech developed the technology using Ford’s 6.8L V10 engine. It’s the first high-volume production CNG Type-C school bus engine certified to California Air Resources Board’s optional low nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions standard of 0.02 grams per brake horsepower-hour (g/bhp-hr). The CNG engines are 90 percent cleaner than the Environmental Protection Agency’s most stringent heavy-duty engine standard of 0.2 g/bhp-hr.
“After concentrating on reaching CARB’s optional low-NOx standards for our propane engine, we bring our Roush engineering success to the CNG engines by reaching the same ultra-low emissions levels,” said Ryan Zic, vice president of school bus sales at ROUSH CleanTech.
Nitrogen oxides are a group of gases known to contribute to acid rain, smog and other air quality issues. According to the EPA, exposure to NOx exhaust can cause negative health effects in children, including eye, nose, throat and lung irritations, headaches and fatigue.
As a low-carbon fuel, CNG is naturally much cleaner than diesel and gasoline. This certification will help school districts obtain funding that supports NOx-reducing projects, such as the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust.
More than 150 school districts operate about 5,500 CNG buses in the United States. CNG is an abundant, low-cost fuel, averaging about 65 percent lower in cost per equivalent gallon than diesel.
The new 0.02 ultra-low NOx option is now available to order for Blue Bird Vision CNG school buses.
About Blue Bird Corporation: Blue Bird (Nasdaq: BLBD) 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, electric 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. For more information on Blue Bird’s complete line of buses, visit www.blue-bird.com.
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 and electric fuel system technology for medium-duty Ford commercial vehicles and school buses, and compressed natural gas fuel systems for 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.
Read more about school districts that use Blue Bird buses fueled by alternative fuels here.
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Gregg Voss | TSN Communications
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