ROUSH CleanTech CARB-Certified Propane Engine Now Lowest NOx in Bus Market

Livonia, Mich. (June 26, 2017) — ROUSH CleanTech has developed the first propane autogas engine available in Class 4-7 vehicles and Blue Bird Corp. Type C buses certified to the optional low-nitrogen oxide (NOx) level of .05 grams per brake horsepower per hour (g/bhp-hr). The new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)- and California Air Resources Board (CARB)-certified propane-fueled engine is 75% cleaner than the current emissions standard.
ROUSH CleanTech school bus

“ROUSH CleanTech’s low-NOx engine is a great step forward for the propane industry,” said Tucker Perkins, president and CEO of the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC). “Propane autogas is well established as an economic, clean-burning, and domestically produced alternative fuel ideal for fleets. Now propane gets the biggest return on NOx reductions, too.”

Nitrogen oxides are a group of gases known as a primary contributor to acid rain, smog, and other air-quality issues. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) asserts that exposure to NOx can trigger health problems such as asthma and other respiratory issues. The California Air Resources Board has encouraged heavy-duty engine manufacturers to reduce levels below the current mandatory EPA standard of
0.2 g/bhp-hr.

“Equipping the Blue Bird Vision with the lowest NOx propane engine makes the best-selling  school bus in the industry even better,” said Phil Horlock, president and CEO of Blue Bird Corp. “That’s great news for the environment, our customers, and our children. Blue Bird’s propane school bus is the industry’s leader for lowest total cost of ownership and hassle-free maintenance, while creating a clean and safer environment for us all.”

The certification covers ROUSH CleanTech’s 6.8-liter, V-10, 3-V propane engine for school buses and commercial trucks, with no additional upfront cost. ROUSH CleanTech has begun installing the low-NOx engine in its FORD commercial vehicles and Blue Bird Vision propane school buses with 2017 model year engines.

“Developing the lowest NOx propane engine sends a message that this fuel is comparable to other alternative fuels from a standpoint of emissions,” said Todd Mouw, vice president of sales and marketing at ROUSH CleanTech. “With our nation’s ample supply of propane and the fuel’s favorable total cost of ownership, our propane autogas engine is the perfect mix of environmental and economic sustainability.”

Over the past year, NOx awareness has increased due to the Volkswagen emissions compliance issue. The Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust was created to fund actions with cleaner technology that reduce excess NOx emissions. “Our .05g NOx engine certification will help our school bus and public transit customers target funds from the upcoming VW Environmental Mitigation Trust program,” said Mouw. “This is especially beneficial for school districts looking for extra funds to replace aging diesel models.”