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Ford, ROUSH, Blue Bird team on new green school bus

The next-generation Blue Bird propane-powered Vision school bus, complete with a Ford engine and ROUSH fuel system in tow, made its debut today at an expo in Reno, Nev.


The bus seats 77 passengers, is assembled on a Blue Bird chassis and is pushed by a Ford Motor Co. 6.8-liter V10 engine with a ROUSH CleanTech liquid propane autogas fuel system.

The Vision delivers 362 horsepower, 457 pounds of torque and fuel savings costs of up to 40% compared with diesel-driven buses.

The bus meets standards of the Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board. This is the second ROUSH CleanTech collaboration with Blue Bird. In September they teamed on the Micro Bird G5, which seats 25 people.

“(Blue Bird is) committed to providing state-of-the-art, reliable and efficient green solutions that our customers want and value,” said Phil Horlock, president and CEO of Blue Bird Corp.

“In partnership with established industry leaders, Ford and ROUSH CleanTech, the introduction of Blue Bird’s Next Generation Propane-Powered Vision will reinforce our leadership position by providing increased benefits and value to our customers.”

Operating on domestically produced, clean-burning autogas, the Vision will help school transportation professionals go green. Autogas emits 20% less nitrogen oxide, up to 60% less carbon monoxide, up to 24% fewer greenhouse gas emissions and fewer particulate emissions than gasoline.

“ROUSH CleanTech is excited to partner with Blue Bird to roll out this new propane autogas technology,” said Todd Mouw, vice president of sales and marketing for ROUSH CleanTech.

“Hands down, propane autogas is the right choice for school districts. Propane autogas is safe, economical and the leading alternative fuel in the United States.”

George Weber, president and CEO of Ford component sales for Ford Motor Co., joined more than 500 school transportation professionals who attended the School Transportation News Expo at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno.

Blue Bird has sold school buses in America from its manufacturing plants in Georgia for more than 80 years. Today it sells buses to schools in 60 countries.

Image source: ROUSH