LIVONIA, Mich. – There isn’t cargo any more precious than a child, and school bus companies take every precaution to ensure the safety of the children they transport on a daily basis. The newly developed partnership between ROUSH® Performance Products and Micro Bird, Inc. has given a ringing endorsement to propane by incorporating the ROUSH Liquid Propane system into the new 30-passsenger Micro Bird® by Girardin, a Type A School, Multi-Function School Activity Bus (MSFAB) and Commercial bus.
“Propane is a perfect alternative fuel option for school districts that must reduce their operational costs as well as lower their emissions,” said Jack Roush, motorsports legend and chairman of ROUSH® Enterprises. “Historically, propane trends 30 to 40 percent less than diesel which helps the school districts to stretch their fuel budget considerably further, and there is no question that the emissions are much cleaner.”
As an alternative fuel, propane offers a variety of advantages. It is available “right here, right now” with a national infrastructure already in place. Propane burns cleaner than gasoline or diesel, with up to 20 percent less nitrogen oxide, up to 60 percent less carbon monoxide, 24 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions, and fewer particulate emissions when compared to gasoline. It is already the third most widely used fuel worldwide, following gasoline and diesel. Propane also plays a strong role in lowering our national dependence on foreign oil, as 90 percent of the propane used today comes from domestic sources of production.
Numerous studies have been conducted on the operational savings fleets can achieve by converting to propane as a motor fuel. A savings calculator is available online at www.SwitchToPropane.com which allows the user to input variables specific to their usage and see first-hand the savings that propane can provide.
“We are excited to partner with an industry leader like Micro Bird,” said Todd Mouw, vice president of sales and marketing for ROUSH®. “We have spent four years perfecting this liquid propane injection technology and this partnership will show that propane is the best alternative fuel for school districts and shuttle operators across North America.”
Manufactured for the school, childcare, Head Start, church, tour and shuttle markets and sold exclusively by Blue Bird Dealers throughout North America, the Micro Bird is built on a Ford E-450 chassis and uses the 6.8L engine with a ROUSH® liquid propane system. The engine is extremely reliable, offers industry leading performance and the entire vehicle can be serviced through the Ford or Blue Bird Dealer network.
The ROUSH® liquid propane-powered vehicles have no additional weight added as is the case with some other alternative fuel options. This means that stopping distance and brake wear will be comparable to a gasoline or diesel vehicle, as well as cargo weight capabilities. Furthermore, there is no loss of horsepower or torque running on propane.
“We are thrilled by the introduction of the new Propane-Powered Micro Bird as it extends Blue Bird’s offering of affordable green solutions into all school bus vehicle segments,” states Bill Danner, Blue Bird vice president of sales, North America. Sales will begin in July with production scheduled for late 2010.
About Micro Bird, Inc. and ROUSH Performance Products
Micro Bird Inc is a joint venture company owned by Blue Bird Corporation and the Girardin Family. With over 130 years of combined experience in the bus industry, Blue Bird and Girardin are known for their quality, innovations and many industry firsts. Offering a complete line of type A and B school, MFSAB and Commercial buses, the Blue Bird Micro Bird by Girardin can carry up to 30 passengers. Micro Birds are intended for the school, childcare, Head Start, churches, tour, and shuttle markets throughout North America. With over 60,000 Type A and B buses built to date, Micro Bird Inc is committed to offering the highest level of quality in its products, customer service and sales support.
Based in Livonia, Mich., “The Art of Performance Engineering” takes place at ROUSH® Performance. To get a look behind the scenes at what goes on at ROUSH® and how the vehicles are designed, manufactured and produced logon to www.ROUSHtv.com. For more information see your local ROUSH® dealer, visit www.ROUSHperformance.com or telephone toll-free (800) 59-ROUSH. Follow us on Twitter @_ROUSH_ or on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ROUSHperformance.