FORT VALLEY, GA (March 29, 2017) – The Blue Bird Vision Gasoline bus received full certification from the Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board last month, opening the door to school districts across the nation interested in gasoline-powered Type C school buses. The Blue Bird Vision Gasoline bus is certified to the federal standard of 0.20 nitrogen oxide emissions.
"During certification testing, our gasoline buses achieved an emission output of 0.08 g/bhp-hr NOx, which is significantly lower than the federal standard of 0.2 g/bhp-hr," said Trey Jenkins, vice president of customer service and alternative fuels for Blue Bird Corporation. "The Blue Bird Vision Gasoline bus uses the same Ford 6.8L V10 engine, giving it the power that drivers expect from a traditional diesel school bus. Customers are experiencing immediate savings due to the lower upfront cost of the vehicle and long term savings due to the lower cost of maintenance."
More than 100 school districts across the nation have purchased the Blue Bird Vision Gasoline since its availability last year. "When it comes to cold-weather startup, these buses perform wonderfully," stated John Benish, CEO of Cook-Illinois Corporation, one of Blue Bird’s first gasoline bus customers. "We aren't required to use heaters to get them going in the morning. This translates to additional savings for us and for the school districts we service."
The Blue Bird Vision Gasoline bus doesn’t require additional parts to run clean, helping to lower overall cost of maintenance. Contrary to popular belief, fuel costs are also a savings factor for the gasoline buses, as school districts can obtain contracts to avoid many taxes and fees that are added to gasoline fuel, making it an affordable alternative to diesel.
Georgia's Cobb County Schools, another early adopter, chose the gasoline buses because CNG and propane infrastructure would have been more difficult to implement, since many of the district’s buses park away from the district’s central fueling and shop locations. "We also saw long-term savings in terms of our total cost of ownership as well as a larger pool of qualified mechanics," said Rick Grisham, executive director of transportation for Cobb County School District. "Our initial numbers are showing a great amount of savings on both fuel and maintenance costs. It’s truly been a win-win for us."
The EPA and CARB certifications were delayed on many products, including the Blue Bird Vision Gasoline bus, due to the recent Volkswagen emissions situation. "Now that these certifications have been received, districts around the nation can start looking to gasoline as an alternative option to diesel," said Brian Carney, executive director of school bus and customer support at ROUSH CleanTech, the manufacturer of the fuel system. "There are many instances where gasoline is a great choice for fleets, so we recommend every district take a look and determine what fuel type will work best for their needs."
About Blue Bird Corporation: Celebrating its 90th year in business, 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 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 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.