HomeNewsBlue Bird Second-Generation Vision Propane Type Cs to Go into Production Next...

Blue Bird Second-Generation Vision Propane Type Cs to Go into Production Next Month

Officials from Blue Bird and ROUSH CleanTech said latest version of the Blue Bird Propane-Powered Vision Type C school bus will go into production in February during a webinar.

ROUSH said about 1,500 units of the first propane Vision on a GM platform are currently in use nationwide. Several hundred orders have already been made for the next-generation propane Vision, which was unveiled last summer during the STN EXPO in Reno, Nev. Ninety-six percent of the fuel system is manufactured domestically.

As of last month, propane cost just about $1.40 per gallon compared to gasoline at about $2.75 per gallon. Albert Burleigh, Blue Bird’s western region sales manager, said there is increased horsepower and torque with a faster fuel filling time similar to filling gasoline or diesel.

The dedicated fuel system in the 77-passenger bus includes a carbon-steel, 67-gallon tank installed between the frame rails and is surrounded by a safety cage with 16 mounting points. The tank is double the required thickness for ASME certification and the burs pressure is five times the working pressure, said ROUSH. The fuel range is approximately 300 miles.

ROUSH completely replaces the traditional fuel container with a propane-auto gas system and re-programs the Ford 6.8L V10 engine CPU to work with propane. Both the engine and fuel system is covered by a 5 year/100,000 mile warranty. Warranty issues will be addressed by local service centers, which will perform diagnostics. Fuel system warranties are handled by ROUSH while Ford will address all engine issues.

According to ROUSH, propane reduces greenhouse gases by 24 percent, nitrogen oxide by 20 percent and carbon monoxide by 60 percent. Ninety percent of propane developed in North America comes from the United States.

The bus was tested using a Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, which Gurley said is more stringent than the U.S. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. The test used  4,000 pound sled at 40 mph for both angled and rear impacts. The bus was filled to 220 PSI tank pressure and CMVSS 301.1 required no leakage of fuel or pressure drop within 30 minutes of the test being perfomed.

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