School buses fueled by propane autogas provide a reliable, clean, and affordable alternative to diesel in a growing number of school bus fleets across the nation. School systems are choosing school buses fueled by propane autogas to reduce or eliminate diesel exhaust to better comply with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations issued in 2004 and 2007 that require significant reductions in hydrocarbon, nitrogen oxide, and particulate matter emissions from heavy-duty diesel engines.
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School buses fueled by propane autogas are available from leading school bus manufacturers, including Blue Bird Corporationand Collins Bus Corporation.
Blue Bird Corporation and Roush CleanTech unveiled the Blue Bird Next Generation Propane-Powered Vision Type C school bus in July 2011, available for purchase starting fourth quarter 2011. This model, built on a Blue Bird chassis with a Ford 6.8-liter engine, offers 362 horsepower, 457 pounds of torque, and seating for up to 77 passengers.
PERC funding also supported the development of two Type A school buses fueled by propane autogas. In 2010, Collins Bus Corporation in partnership with CleanFuel USA released the NexBus, and Girardin and Roush CleanTech released the propane-autogas-fueled Micro Bird G5.
School buses fueled by propane autogas offer the following benefits:
• 20 percent less nitrogen oxide, 60 percent less carbon monoxide, and up to 18 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions
• Same horsepower, torque, and towing capacity of traditionally fueled vehicles
• Meet EPA and California Air Resources Board certification requirements.
• Allow owners to receive a 50 cent per gallon rebate on propane fuel.
• Increase maintenance intervals.
• Reduce operating costs.