Next Generation Eco Bus Runs on Propane

Blue Bird's new generation propane-powered bus will save school districts money while helping to reduce their carbon footprint. (image: biodieselnow.com)

The latest in eco bus technology has just been unveiled and it runs on clean-burning domestically-produced propane autogas.

Georgia-based bus manufacturer Blue Bird has just launched its next generation Propane-Powered Vision school bus. It seats 77, boasts 362 horsepower and meets stringent Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board certification requirements, digitaljournal.com reports.

The bus was developed with funding from our friends at the Propane Education and Research Council and features state of the art propane fueling technology by industry leader ROUSH CleanTech.
Blue Bird CEO Phil Horlock said the ‘Vision’ buses had been upgraded with larger engines and better technology. The company has already sold about 4000 green vehicles – more than any other bus manufacturer, he said.

“There’s no other competitor that builds a large bus like we do with propane. We’re the only one,” said Horlock. “The large bus is by far the dominate bus, most accepted bus in the school bus business. We’ve all ridden on them when we were kids.”

Horlock said a key advantage of propane-powered buses was their environmental credentials. Propane is much cleaner-burning than gasoline or diesel and generates far fewer harmful greenhouse gas emissions, carbon monoxide and small particulates.

“You can stand behind the exhaust of a bus and have nothing…there’s nothing coming out of that tailpipe at all – it’s totally clean,” he told 41nbc.com. “There’s no gasoline involved no diesel involved. It’s purely propane. It’s the stuff you fire up your grill with.”

But propane gas is not just environmentally sustainable. It is also much cheaper than traditional vehicle fuels, meaning cash-strapped school districts can save big bucks on bus fleet running costs.

“A gallon of propane costs about $1.30 a gallon versus $3.80 so that’s $2.50 savings,” Horlock said.

Extra savings are possible through federal propane tax subsidies.

And because propane is cleaner burning, there’s potential for propane-fueled engines to run more efficiently and require less maintenance.

“We are committed to providing state-of-the-art, reliable and efficient green solutions that our customers want and value,” Horlock said.

ROUSH CleanTech vice president of sales of marketing Todd Mouw said the company was excited to partner with Blue Bird to produce the new eco school bus.

Hands down, propane autogas is the right choice for school districts. Propane autogas is safe, economical and the leading alternative fuel in the United States.