We posted a story this past spring at About My Planet about Collins Bus Corporation’s work with Azure Dynamics on a hybrid-electric drive train for small buses. Collins plans to blend the Ford E-450 Chassis, the Azure Dynamics drive train and other elements to create a fuel-efficient school bus. This leading producer and marketer of school buses is taking an additional step by developing a Type A school bus powered by a liquid propane injection (LPI) system. This LPI-powered school bus will be made possible through Collins Bus Corporation’s partnership with CleanFUEL USA.
Collins Bus Corporation plans to use the LPI system produced by CleanFUEL USA in a handful of its bus models over the next few years. CleanFUEL USA was the natural choice for Collins as the Georgetown, Texas-based producer is the only company offering an LPI system certified by the EPA and CARB. The 6.0-liter gasoline engine chassis used for Collins Type A buses meshes perfectly with CleanFUEL USA’s retrofitting kits. The Type A bus is capable of holding up to 30 passengers for field trips, rural bus routes and special events.
The LPI system produced by CleanFUEL USA features a propane fuel system compatible with original parts. This system replaces the existing fuel tank, fuel pump and injectors without removing most of the existing drive elements. CleanFUEL USA claims that its LPI system is capable of reducing greenhouse emissions, cutting fuel consumption and increasing fuel mileage. The company also focuses on the use of liquid propane found within the United States to attract American companies looking for domestic transportation partners.
Collins, CleanFUEL USA and other advocates of liquid propane are quick to point out its virtues after introducing new partnerships. The federal government provides a $0.50 per gallon rebate on propane used for propulsion, which makes LPI systems cost efficient for school districts. LPI systems run with relatively low carbon and lower temperatures, which extend the lives of engines beyond the short and brutal lives of diesel engines. The steady supply of propane available in the United States means that Collins bus models using the LPI drive train should be inexpensive to run for years. While the CleanFUEL USA story may not be as thrilling as the Azure Dynamics partnership, Collins Bus Corporation is positioning itself as a leader in eco-friendly buses for the future.