The Greenville County school district is ditching the last of its 1995-model school buses. The state Department of Education has given Greenville County Schools 21 brand-new, lower-emission school buses as part of a pilot program for alternative fuel transportation, said Beth Brotherton, communications director for the district.
ROUSH CleanTech has announced that its 0.02 grams per brake horsepower-hour engine can operate on renewable propane. The company claims it is the first available engine for renewable propane that brings the emissions level to near-zero, as defined by California Air Resources Board (CARB). “When commercial vehicles are equipped with our ultra-low-NOx engines and fueled by renewable propane, they achieve near-zero emissions while still being financially viable for fleets,” says Todd Mouw, president of ROUSH CleanTech.
Volkswagen Update: November 2018
More states have closed funding opportunities. Currently, 14 states have published and closed funding opportunities representing $181 million — with $50 million of that exclusively allocated for school bus replacement. Make sure you are aware of your state’s status.
As of November 2018:
Thirty-four states have final plans:
Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming
Twelve states have draft plans:
Alaska, Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, North Dakota, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont and Washington
Six states are still developing their plans and are accepting comments:
Alabama, Florida, Hawaii, Mississippi, Puerto Rico and West Virginia
Please contact Chelsea Jenkins at Chelsea.Jenkins@roush.com to discuss how best to approach and plan for the next phase of VW Settlement (and other funding) opportunities in your state.
Visit www.roushcleantech.com/volkswagen-settlement for more information.
First School Buses Purchased Using VW Funding are Blue Bird Vision Propane
Louisiana was the first state to announce its Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Fund awards. In accordance with its plan, the state dedicated $18 million toward the replacement of older diesel school buses.
The first recipient of these funds is Lafayette Parish School System. The school district will use the money to replace 10 of its older diesel models with new Blue Bird Vision Propane school buses. These buses are equipped with ROUSH CleanTech’s ultra-low 0.02g NOx engine, certified 90 percent cleaner than the strictest federal NOx emissions standard.
As shown in Louisiana, propane school buses are a clean alternative-fuel technology that is ideal for applicants pursuing Volkswagen EMT funds.
We’d like to tip our hats to the folks at Ross Bus and Equipment for their help in securing these funds.
Dealer Spotlight: Brightbill Body Works
Dealer: Brightbill Body Works
Interviewee: Mason Hemphill
Title: Sales Manager
Brightbill Body Works’ Mason Hemphill has been leveraging the power of propane for years. He’s helped the company sell over 450 school buses with the Ford transmission. Plus, he’s the winner of the Blue Bird / ROUSH CleanTech ROUSH Mustang contest.
Mason is a strong proponent of propane, explaining it as ‘the right thing to do’ for school districts. He uses a number of tools to educate customers about propane buses. This includes lending demo buses to school districts and bringing customers to ROUSH CleanTech to learn more about our propane product. He even created a YouTube channel to help with driver orientation!
Congratulations, Mason. We hope you enjoy your new ride!
Dealer Meeting Propane Recap
Thanks for letting us join you once again during your dealer meeting. Our breakout session was jam-packed with information and discussion about our low NOx propane engines; our program outlook for propane, CNG and gasoline; our competition and its products; an update on the Volkswagen settlement; and much more. Here’s a recap.
Low NOx. The Blue Bird Vision offers the only available propane engine that is lower than the NOx emissions federal level. Our competitors meet the federal levels of 0.20 g/bhp-hr, but we go 90 percent cleaner, meeting California Air Resources Board’s optional “ultra-low” level.
Programs. For MY19, we are busy working on certifications for our engines. For gasoline, EPA and CARB are complete. For propane and CNG, EPA is complete. CARB is in process and expected by Winter 2019.
Volkswagen Settlement. Our story is compelling, but we ALL have to tell it. It’s our job to get the message out about our superior product — to regulators, policy makers and funding agencies who don’t know what they don’t know. Stress that our near-zero propane vehicles fueled by renewable propane (also known an RLPG or biopropane) is the best fleet solution for years to come to address economic, environmental and energy challenges facing nation and states.
ROUSH CleanTech is committed to looking farther into the future to help shape policies, regulations and incentives to favor our technologies. There are many voices, but ours can rise above if we are smart, strategic and collaborative.
For a copy of the presentation or if you have any questions, please contact Ryan Zic at Ryan.Zic@roush.com.
Sy Syms opened his first men’s clothing store in Manhattan in 1959. As his company grew during the 1960s and ‘70s, Sy appeared in the store’s first TV commercial and debuted Syms’ slogan, “An educated consumer is our best customer.”
On a molecular level, renewable propane is identical to the traditional propane used by retailers and consumers across the country. But on a national scale, renewable propane is completely different and pushes the propane industry and its fuel into the energy conversation for the future. About four years ago, Joy Alafia, president of the Western Propane Gas Association (WPGA), reviewed the WPGA’s strategic plan to see what was happening in the environment, the marketplace and legislatively. “It was painfully obvious” that if propane wanted to compete in western states in the future, the fuel needed to become cleaner, Alafia says.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has awarded more than $2.6 million in grant funding to municipalities and businesses, as well as $610,000 to four school districts, for clean vehicle projects statewide. The funding comes from the commonwealth’s Alternative Fuels Incentive Grants (AFIG) Program.