First CNG-Fueled Type C ‘Vision’ Vehicle for Blue Bird
Marks Roush’s ‘First Foray’ into Natural Gas Vehicles
Blue Bird Bus announced a new school bus representing two firsts this week: it’s the first compressed natural gas-fueled Type C bus for Blue Bird, and it’s the first CNG fuel system product for Roush CleanTech.
“It’s our first foray into natural gas,” says Roush CleanTech VP Todd Mouw. His firm is responsible for calibration of the fuel system and certification, he told F&F – both California and U.S. – planned for next year. Orders will be taken this year for deliveries expected to commence late in 2016.
Unlike Roush’s propane vehicles, however, Roush’s responsibility is for the “low-pressure” engine systems only, Mouw says: Blue Bird is handling the new vehicle’s CNG fuel cylinder assemblies, as it already does with its larger Cummins Westport-powered Type D school buses.
Commonality with Propane and Gasoline Blue Birds
“With its excellent performance and quiet operation,” Blue Bird says, “the Blue Bird Vision CNG will reduce fuel and maintenance costs, while meeting stringent emissions standards.”
The vehicle will have 6.8-liter Ford V-10 engine and Ford 6R140 transmission. Blue Bird notes that propane autogas-powered school buses “built by this proven Blue Bird, Ford and Roush CleanTech partnership have tallied more than 60 million miles.
Introduced at NAPT in Richmond
“With the same engine and transmission architecture covering propane, gasoline and CNG-powered school buses, Blue Bird’s customers and technicians are assured of simpler and easier maintenance and service.”
The new CNG bus was one of four new Blue Bird powertrain options for 2016 introduced at this week’s NAPT/National Association for Pupil Transportation meeting in Richmond, Va.
Previous Roush CNG experience includes the installation by Roush Performance of CNG-gas-gasoline bi-fuel systems by Quantum in GM’s CNG Impala (F&F, November 7, 2013).
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Source: Blue Bird Bus with Fleets & Fuels follow-up