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Blue Bird Expands Alt Fuel Options for School Buses

Blue Bird Expands Alt Fuel System Options for School Buses

Dear Partners of ROUSH CleanTech,
Todd Mouw, VP of sales and marketing, ROUSH CleanTech

We’ve been in partnership with Blue Bird since 2012. With more than 7,500 buses manufactured together, our collaboration continues to thrive.

From our company’s inception, our goal has been to engineer vehicle fuel systems in the “clean tech” market. Now is the time that compressed natural gas and gasoline fuel systems for school buses make sense alongside propane.

With virtually zero emissions, the Blue Bird Vision Propane leads the industry in controlling emissions. Ford recently updated their control system, improving emissions performance for the 6.8 L V10 spark-ignited engine in the Vision Propane bus. In addition to this update, the transmission shift schedule has been modified to optimize the new engine speed. The result: improved fuel economy. With the new shift schedules, we have modified the EconoShift and PowerShift calibrations, so the difference between the two is less noticeable.

The Blue Bird Vision CNG bus has seamless powertrain integration through specific calibration. We take Ford’s base calibrations for the 6.8L engine and optimize them for CNG fuel, creating a truly efficient CNG bus to optimize powertrain matching for school bus applications. The Vision CNG bus tested at 0.1g NOx, going beyond the normal 0.2g NOx standard to deliver the best performance to the market.

The Blue Bird Vision Gasoline bus offers many of the benefits of propane or CNG buses (including emissions reduction) at a more affordable cost. Its acquisition cost is significantly less than a diesel purchase. Ford’s control system improves emissions while saving time and money, requiring less tech training, less labor and less product inventory. Parts and supplies are easily accessible and affordable. It all adds up to lower maintenance costs.

Each of these buses runs on the same Ford 6.8L V10 engine. This helps school districts manage maintenance costs since technicians only need to learn one system, no matter what the fuel type. ROUSH CleanTech is your point of contact for all three platforms: we can help you diagnose any issues the bus is experiencing.

Give us a call today at 800.59.ROUSH or visit us in the Silver State Pavilion Booth B at the STN Expo this week to see our buses on display. Thanks for partnering us!


Tom Hopkins

Director of Field Operations