Blue Bird Vision school bus receives EPA, CARB certifications

The Blue Bird Vision Gasoline bus recently received full certification from both the Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board, the company announced. The Blue Bird Vision Gasoline bus is certified to the federal standard of 0.20 nitrogen oxide emissions.

“During certification testing, our gasoline buses achieved an emission output of 0.08 g/bhp-hr NOx, which is significantly lower than the federal standard of 0.2 g/bhp-hr,” said Trey Jenkins, vice president of customer service and alternative fuels for Blue Bird Corporation. “The Blue Bird Vision Gasoline bus uses the same Ford 6.8L V10 engine, giving it the power that drivers expect from a traditional diesel school bus. Customers are experiencing immediate savings due to the lower upfront cost of the vehicle and long term savings due to the lower cost of maintenance.”

According to the company, more than 100 school districts across the nation have purchased the Blue Bird Vision Gasoline since its availability last year. “When it comes to cold-weather startup, these buses perform wonderfully,” stated John Benish, CEO of Cook-Illinois Corporation, one of Blue Bird’s first gasoline bus customers. “We aren’t required to use heaters to get them going in the morning. This translates to additional savings for us and for the school districts we service.”

Georgia’s Cobb County Schools, another early adopter, chose the gasoline buses because CNG and propane infrastructure would have been more difficult to implement, since many of the district’s buses park away from the district’s central fueling and shop locations. “We also saw long-term savings in terms of our total cost of ownership as well as a larger pool of qualified mechanics,” said Rick Grisham, executive director of transportation for Cobb County School District. “Our initial numbers are showing a great amount of savings on both fuel and maintenance costs. It’s truly been a win-win for us.”

The EPA and CARB certifications were delayed on many products, including the Blue Bird Vision Gasoline bus, due to the recent Volkswagen emissions situation. “Now that these certifications have been received, districts around the nation can start looking to gasoline as an alternative option to diesel,” said Brian Carney, executive director of school bus and customer support at ROUSH CleanTech, the manufacturer of the fuel system. “There are many instances where gasoline is a great choice for fleets, so we recommend every district take a look and determine what fuel type will work best for their needs.”

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