In a statement released Monday, Micro Bird claims to be the first to bring to market a Type A propane autogas school bus with low nitrogen oxides.
The company’s G5 Type A bus equipped with ROUSH CleanTech’s Gen 5 propane fuel system is certified to California Air Resources Board’s optional low nitrogen oxide emissions standard of 0.05 grams per brake horsepower-hour (g/bhp-hr), making it 75% cleaner than federal U.S. emission standards. Type A buses, made of a bus body constructed on a cutaway front-section vehicle, usually carry nine to 36 students.
“Every district wants to lessen students’ exposure to damaging exhaust that can have negative health effects on children,” said Steve Girardin, president of Micro Bird. “With the Micro Bird G5 propane bus’s new CARB certification, we help our customers lower their carbon footprint while also offering the most horsepower of any Type A bus.”
Micro Bird buses integrating ROUSH CleanTech’s Gen 5 system reduce nitrogen oxides and greenhouse gas emissions, which helps optimize fuel efficiency. They also can operate on renewable propane to further reduce emissions and carbon intensity values. The system features the compact, 350-horsepower Ford 7.3L engine, and benefits from all of Ford’s performance and quality characteristics, such as horsepower, torque and towing, while maintaining the OEM factory warranty.
More than 40 school districts across North America operate nearly 300 Micro Bird Type A propane buses, including Carmel Clay Schools in Indiana. “With our Type A propane buses, we save money due to the low cost of maintenance and fuel, and the low emissions help us do our part to clean up air quality,” said Ron Farrand, Jr., director of facilities and transportation.
Propane buses have become widespread among school districts. “There are more than 17,000 of our propane school buses in operation due to the significant cost-effective, emissions-reducing benefits,” said Ryan Zic, vice president of school bus sales for ROUSH CleanTech. “Customers are fully supported with Blue Bird/Micro Bird dealers in every state and province, and more than 700 service locations through our service network.”
Propane autogas reduces maintenance costs and wear and tear on the engine and components. On average, the fuel costs about 40% less than gasoline and 50% less than diesel.