School bus manufacturer Blue Bird Corporation launched a new online tool that calculates the benefits of using propane in fleets compared to regular diesel or gasoline.
The company said in a statement today that its propane calculator was specifically designed for the bus market. With its Propane-Powered Vision conventional Type C, Blue Bird is the only manufacturer that produces a large propane school bus directly off the assembly line.
By the Web user inputting annual miles driven of a given bus or an entire fleet, the calculator determines an approximate 31 percent increase in fuel economy of a propane bus compared to diesel or gasoline, assuming a cost of $1.65 a gallon for propane versus an average cost of $2.62 per gallon diesel/gasoline. Blue added that propane customers can expect to achieve up to a 50 percent cost savings on fuel.
The calculator also factors in a 50-cent federal rebate per gallon of propane purchased, and Web users can cross reference engine technologies and vehicles that are currently eligible for additoinal IRS credits via a link to the list of Qualified Alternative Fuel Motor Vehicles (QAFMV) and Heavy Hybrid Vehicles.
In calculating capital and operating cost comparisons of propane with diesel and gasoline, Blue Bird said it assumes that the Federal Excise Tax Credit is extended beyond Dec. 31, 2009 The calculator also takes into account annual maintenance costs and loss from theft.