Industry Market Trends
Propane Powers More than the Backyard Grill
July 22, 2010
For most of us, propane is a summertime staple. Grilling is a must and propane is easy and affordable. Using propane as a fuel source for vehicles isn't new either. Many cities have fleets of propane-powered municipal busses, or mail trucks, or town trucks. A new propane vehicle may be coming to the corner where you live: the school bus. Micro Bird, Inc., a division of Blue Bird Bus Company, and Roush® Performance Products have partnered to bring the low emission bus to markets across the country. The new 30 passenger Micro Bird® is a Type A School, Multi-Function School Activity Bus or shuttle bus that can reduce operational costs for a school district since propane trends 30-40% less than diesel. Besides the cost savings, these busses produce much cleaner emissions with up to 20% less nitrogen oxide, up to 60% less carbon monoxide, 24% fewer greenhouse gas emissions, and fewer particulate emissions when compared to gasoline. As an alternative fuel, propane offers a variety of advantages. It is available "right here, right now" with a national infrastructure already in place. The Micro Bird is built on a Ford E-450 chassis and uses the 6.8L engine with a ROUSH liquid propane system. Because the ROUSH liquid propane-powered vehicles have no additional weight added as is the case with some other alternative fuel options, stopping distance and brake wear will be comparable to a gasoline or diesel vehicle, as well as cargo weight capabilities. If these vehicles are integrated into local school district fleets, there may be one large problem for moms, dads, and kids: will we hear them coming or will we be missing the bus?