Blue Bird extends collab with Ford, Roush CleanTech

May 15, 2024 By     0 Comments
Blue Bird's propane-powered school buses. (Image courtesy of Blue Bird Corp.)

Blue Bird’s propane-powered school buses. (Image courtesy of Blue Bird Corp.)

Blue Bird Corp., a manufacturer of electric and low-emission school buses, has extended its exclusive clean school bus collaboration with Ford Component Sales and Roush CleanTech to 2030. The agreement strengthens Blue Bird’s industry leadership in low- and zero-emission student transportation. Blue Bird is now the only school bus manufacturer in the U.S. to offer propane- and gasoline-powered school buses that will meet more stringent emission standards taking effect in 2027.

Ford continues to supply its 7.3L V8 engine exclusively to Blue Bird. Roush CleanTech integrates Ford’s engine into low-emission powertrain options for propane- and gasoline-powered school buses. Blue Bird, Ford and Roush began working together in 2012. Since then, Blue Bird has deployed more than 40,000 alternative-fuel powered school buses.

“We are thrilled to extend our winning, long-standing collaboration with technology leaders Ford Motor Co. and Roush CleanTech,” says Britton Smith, president of Blue Bird. “We are the only school bus manufacturer in the United States to bring an industry-leading portfolio of propane- and gasoline-powered buses to communities nationwide – and are excited for the opportunity to continue doing so for years to come.”

The demand for Blue Bird’s propane-powered school buses has steadily increased over the past decade, according to the company. Today’s propane engine is 90 percent cleaner than the most stringent federal emission standard set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. New and even stricter emission standards will take effect in 2027. Blue Bird’s near zero-emission, propane-powered school buses exceed those emission standards already.

“Our relationship with Blue Bird goes back nearly a century starting in 1927 when Blue Bird built its first school bus on a Ford chassis,” says Douglas Chase, director of OEM sales at Ford Component Sales. “We have continued to collaborate and innovate the student transportation industry ever since. We are delighted that Ford’s powerful 7.3L engine will be at the heart of Blue Bird’s next-generation, alternative-fuel-powered school buses in North America.”

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