Management

IC Bus Unveils Gasoline-Powered Type C School Bus

Thomas McMahon
Posted on July 25, 2016
IC Bus has developed a gasoline version of its CE school bus. Seen here is a diesel CE.
IC Bus has developed a gasoline version of its CE school bus. Seen here is a diesel CE.

IC Bus has developed a gasoline version of its Type C school bus, the OEM announced on Monday.

The gasoline-powered CE school bus will utilize the Power Solutions International 8.8L V8 gasoline engine paired with commercial-grade transmissions. The bus uses much of the same technology and spark-ignited engine architecture as IC Bus’ propane-powered CE model, similarly avoiding the complex emissions aftertreatment system of a diesel bus.

According to IC Bus, the new gasoline model is designed to make ownership more affordable and to provide easier maintenance for school districts and contractors.

Trish Reed, vice president and general manager of IC Bus, told SBF in an interview that when she started in her position in August 2014, one of the first things she heard customers ask for was a gasoline engine option. Reed said that some of the key reasons behind that request are the increase in complexity of diesel powertrains, the wider availability of technicians who can work on gasoline engines, and the expectation of better starting in harsh winters with a gasoline bus compared to a diesel.

“We’ve listened to our dealers and customers, and they are asking for powertrain options that can deliver the same safety, reliability, and durability as with our entire product lineup,” Reed said.

IC Bus' new gasoline CE school bus will utilize the Power Solutions International 8.8L V8 engine.
IC Bus' new gasoline CE school bus will utilize the Power Solutions International 8.8L V8 engine.
Diesel has long dominated the large school bus market, but Reed said that IC Bus sees a big shift over the next four years. The OEM is forecasting that by 2020, diesel will decrease to about 60% to 65% of the Type C and D school bus market (down from about 92% in 2015), with gasoline, propane, and compressed natural gas accounting for about 35% to 40%.

"Bus fleets are continuing to shift away from diesel in order to provide long-term savings for schools and a cleaner environment for the future," said Gary Winemaster, chairman and CEO of Power Solutions International. "As part of this shift, gasoline has become the 'third alternative fuel.'"

Still, IC Bus will expand its diesel engine offerings over the next two years with the addition of the Cummins L9 and B6.7 engines for the RE series school bus.

Reed said that full-scale production of the gasoline CE school bus will be announced at a later date. Meanwhile, IC Bus will demonstrate the new model on Tuesday and Wednesday at the STN Expo in Reno, Nevada.

Reed said that customers who drive the gasoline CE will likely notice similar power and torque curve compared to a diesel engine, but with quieter operation.

“Our goal was to make it feel and perform like the Cummins ISB,” Reed said. “They just won’t have the noise that goes with it.”

Related Topics: diesel, gasoline, IC Bus, propane

Thomas McMahon Executive Editor
Comments ( 7 )
  • Crabby Milton

     | about 3 years ago

    Gasoline power is ideal for those that want a bigger bus but may not use it on a daily basis or just don't want the hassle with DEF and initial expense of a diesel. Diesel is great for high mileage but not so good for lower mileage where the higher initial cost won't be recovered in a reasonable time. I don't know how many truck dealers can service this PSI engine but in the case of the BLUEBIRD VISION with the FORD 6.8L V10, any FORD truck dealer can handle that. I pretty sure the PSI 8.8L V8 uses many GM parts. I have to wonder if the folks at IC are and have been thinking..."Gee, we shouldn't have discontinued the gasoline option some 30 years ago." But then again the market does funny things.

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