HUTCHINSON, Kan. — Collins Bus Corp. has entered into an exclusive agreement with CleanFUEL USA to develop the first Type A school bus to operate on autogas with a liquid propane injection (LPI) system.
Collins, the largest manufacturer of Type A school buses, will soon be offering this system as an option for several of its GM dual rear wheel models.
“CleanFUEL USA brings the expertise and a proven system to the Type A school bus market that will have market applications throughout our industry,” said Kent Tyler, president of Collins Bus Corp. “At Collins Bus Corp. we believe it’s imperative to provide our customers with cost effective solutions that also benefit the environment. This new propane-fueled bus not only accomplishes that goal, but will also be a welcome addition to our recently announced hybrid-electric offering.”
CleanFUEL USA is a leader in the development of LPI. It currently offers an EPA- and California Air Resources Board-certified system on the GM 6.0L gasoline engine cutaway chassis. CleanFUEL USA also developed the LPI system for Blue Bird Corp.’s Propane-Powered Vision school bus.
“With our advanced LPI system, Collins can deliver a quality propane bus option that helps its customers better address ‘green’ initiatives and reduce transportation costs — propane is roughly 40 to 50 percent cheaper per gallon than gasoline and diesel,” said Curtis Donaldson, president and CEO of CleanFUEL USA.
Propane, when compared to diesel and gasoline, provides a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and has the potential to further reduce fuel costs with the federal tax credit of 50 cents per gallon. Moreover, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, the low carbon and reduced oil contamination of propane has resulted in engine life up to two times longer than that of gasoline engines, the companies said.
First Student, Collins ink deal
In other news, First Student Inc. has signed a long-term agreement with Collins Bus Corp. wherein Collins will be the exclusive supplier for the contractor’s Type A school bus requirements.
First Student intends to purchase a variety of Type A buses under this agreement, and Collins will start delivering buses immediately. The majority of the buses will be produced and delivered by Collins during the fall and winter — its non-peak production months.
The agreement is for three years with options to extend for another two years.
“We are pleased to have Collins Bus Corp. provide our Type A buses,” First Student President Linda Bell said. “As the largest provider of school transportation, it is important that we have the right vehicle for our customers’ requirements and ensure the continued safe and secure transportation of the 4 million children we carry to and from school each day.”
Tyler added that Collins has been doing business with First Student for quite some time, but the formal agreement will allow both organizations to “plan more effectively for future vehicle requirements as well as production capacity.”