SOUTH HUTCHINSON, Kan. — Collins Bus Corp. has partnered with Westport to offer a new compressed natural gas (CNG) Type A school bus, and it is now accepting orders for the bus.   

Company officials said that the CNG bus provides an estimated 250- to 300-mile range, decreases greenhouse gas emissions by up to 15% and reduces operating costs.

The bus is built on a Ford E450 6.8L cutaway chassis backed by a Ford factory 5-year/60,000-mile engine and powertrain warranty. It features the Westport WiNG Power System, a dedicated natural gas fuel system that is certified by the California Air Resources Board and the EPA.

The bus will have 29 gasoline gallon equivalents of CNG on board.

“We are very pleased to partner with Westport to begin offering a CNG bus model in the fastest growing segment of the alternative-fuel school bus market,” said Kent Tyler, president and CEO of Allied Specialty Vehicles’ Bus Division and interim president of Collins Bus. “As Ford’s largest qualified vehicle modifier, Westport’s CNG expertise and proven technology allows us to offer the most reliable clean energy Type A school bus model available to meet the evolving needs of our dealers and diverse customer base.”

Paul Shaffer, Westport vice president and managing director of North American Ford business, added, “Westport is continuing to demonstrate our position as an industry leader by offering the first ever Ford-recognized Type A school bus that runs on natural gas. Our team of engineers worked with Ford and Collins Bus to conduct extensive simulations and physical crash testing to meet the stringent school bus safety requirements. With the distinct price and emissions benefits of natural gas, we’re excited to offer a CNG-powered product to school districts.”

The Collins Bus CNG model will have 29 gasoline gallon equivalents of CNG on board.

The Collins Bus CNG model will have 29 gasoline gallon equivalents of CNG on board.

Officials said Collins Bus offers a wide range of floor plan configurations, including ADA accessible packages, which can accommodate 18 to 28 passengers.

Additional options unique to Collins Bus include a large passenger-side cab view window, an exterior storage compartment that holds up to 120 pounds of equipment, and high-strength, low-alloy tube steel roof bows and interlocking longitudinal members that result in a significantly stronger and rigid structure in all directions with increased resistance to twist and crush forces.

Officials said Collins Bus will begin delivery of the new CNG bus to customers in the fall. To place an order, call (800) 533-1850.