Roush has announced a $6 million investment in a new Roush Advanced Durability Lab, which will allow businesses to test the structural reliability of vehicles and vehicle components early in the product design timeline. “Roush’s investment in the Roush Advanced Durability Lab ensures products in the development phase live up to users’ expectations,” said Jeff Johnston, president of testing services for Roush. “It gives us the unique capability to serve our customers at subsystem, component and full vehicle levels.”
Michigan’s Charlevoix County Transit didn’t have a county or state mandate to adopt alternative fuels. Instead, the agency, which averages 90,000 passenger trips annually, is transitioning to clean-burning propane autogas buses because it’s a boon to the environment.
Shuttle and paratransit fleets are continuously looking for ways to provide a safe and comfortable ride for passengers. For many fleets, reaching that customer satisfaction also means providing a clean ride. With more government regulations in place encouraging fleet owners to lower emissions, many fleets are opting to use alternative fuels to reach their emissions goals and provide a safe and clean ride for their passengers.
VW Update May
More states have finalized their Volkswagen funding plans. Currently, 45 states have published funding opportunities representing $2.3 billion — with $132.7 million of that exclusively allocated for school bus replacement. We’ve had many successes with propane, such as in Lafayette, Louisiana and various districts in Nebraska for school buses.
We have some states with huge funding opportunities available in 2019 and we need your help. Remember, the entire objective of the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust fund is to reduce NOx emissions. Let’s work together to create a strategy that meets your state criteria. Our highest applicant success rate has been when we focused on NOx reductions, emissions cost-effectiveness, match funding and project location.
As of May 2019:
45 states have final plans:
Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
Four states have draft plans:
Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi and North Dakota.
Three states are still developing their plans and are accepting comments:
Florida, Puerto Rico and West Virginia.
Please contact Chelsea Jenkins at Chelsea.Jenkins@roush.com to discuss how best to approach and plan for the next phase of Volkswagen settlement (and other funding) opportunities in your state.
Visit www.ROUSHcleantech.com/volkswagen-settlement for more information.
Blue Bird First to Offer Ultra-Low NOx, Type-C School Bus Fueled by Compressed Natural Gas
School districts and transportation contractors can now purchase buses fueled by compressed natural gas that are 90 percent cleaner than the national emissions standard, opening more opportunities for funding that supports reduced emissions.
“Our customers want bus innovations that are environmentally friendly and allow them to access emissions-based grant funding, and the Blue Bird Vision CNG bus delivers,” said Phil Horlock, president and CEO of Blue Bird Corporation. “This is a huge step for Blue Bird and the school bus industry as we continue to be the first to bring the newest and cleanest engine technology into our lineup of buses.”
ROUSH CleanTech developed the technology using Ford’s 6.8L V10 engine. It’s the first high-volume production CNG Type-C school bus engine certified to California Air Resources Board’s optional low nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions standard of 0.02 grams per brake horsepower-hour (g/bhp-hr). The CNG engines are 90 percent cleaner than the Environmental Protection Agency’s most stringent heavy-duty engine standard of 0.2 g/bhp-hr.
“After concentrating on reaching CARB’s optional low-NOx standards for our propane engine, we bring our Roush engineering success to the CNG engines by reaching the same ultra-low emissions levels,” said Ryan Zic, vice president of school bus sales at ROUSH CleanTech.
Nitrogen oxides are a group of gases known to contribute to acid rain, smog and other air quality issues. According to the EPA, exposure to NOx exhaust can cause negative health effects in children, including eye, nose, throat and lung irritations, headaches and fatigue.
As a low-carbon fuel, CNG is naturally much cleaner than diesel and gasoline. This certification will help school districts obtain funding that supports NOx-reducing projects, such as the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust.
More than 150 school districts operate about 5,500 CNG buses in the United States. CNG is an abundant, low-cost fuel, averaging about 65 percent lower in cost per equivalent gallon than diesel.
The new 0.02 ultra-low NOx option is now available to order for Blue Bird Vision CNG school buses.
Many media outlets published this news, including:
Dealer Spotlight: Hartley’s School Buses
Salespeople from Hartley’s School Buses made their first trip to our Livonia, Michigan, facility last month. Representatives from three Montana school districts joined the tour. To help cover the cost of the trip, Hartley’s took advantage of our Tour Support Program, which enabled the dealer to bring in a diverse group of customers.
Both current propane school bus users and others who have not yet purchased propane buses attended, creating an engaging dynamic to introduce potential users to existing users. Being together on this trip gave the two sets an opportunity to talk with and learn from each other about their experiences instead of only hearing from salespeople.
The dealer is confident that the districts that don’t currently have propane buses will add them soon.
Tour Support Program
The Tour Support Program has become a highly effective sales tool. A facility tour at ROUSH CleanTech headquarters in Livonia, Michigan, is a great resource to educate both your customers and your employees. Depending on your goals, we can customize the tour’s content to focus on propane, compressed natural gas or gasoline school bus sales, technical service or general education.
We want to provide an equal opportunity for all dealers, regardless of your location, to visit our factory. To help cover the cost of this tour, we pay a portion of expenses based on where you’re coming from. Check out the map here to determine how much we will cover, per person, for visits from your state.
The typical tour itinerary includes:
- Afternoon arrival of dealer personnel and customers.
- Dinner hosted by ROUSH CleanTech and Blue Bird.
- Morning tour of the ROUSH CleanTech manufacturing facility, product overview and service presentations.
- Break for lunch provided by ROUSH CleanTech and Blue Bird.
- Demonstration of propane autogas fueling.
- Tour of ROUSH Performance and / or a tour of the Roush Automotive Collection museum, featuring Jack Roush’s personal collection of cars.
- Afternoon departure.
In order to qualify for the reimbursement program, the following criteria are required:
- Customer attendees must be current or prospective customers who plan to purchase in the next 12 months.
- Maximum group size is 30 people.
- Background information, including attendees’ names, titles, district and contact information, must be provided to ROUSH CleanTech in advance of the tour.
- At least one dealer representative must attend.
Whether you’ve taken this tour before with your team or a customer, or this is your first time, you’re sure to learn something new, and, more importantly, to close more sales.
To schedule a tour through our Tour Support Program, call us at 800.59.ROUSH or contact your ROUSH CleanTech rep today.
Largest Propane Bus Fleet in Canada
Pacific Western Transportation, the largest privately owned passenger transportation company in Canada, has been operating since 1957. Environmental sustainability is at the core of the company, and propane the foundation for its student transportation division. Kirkman Bus Sales’ Jason Kirkman worked with PWT’s President and CEO Tom Jezersek to increase its fleet to over 750 propane school buses. This makes it the largest fleet of propane school buses in Canada!
Before adopting Blue Bird propane buses, PWT ran IC buses, but experienced financial losses due to lack of uptime. If the buses were down, it meant they had to have a higher spare bus ratio. Jason started stopping by PWT monthly, introducing a new Blue Bird benefit each time he visited. The strategy worked, and Jason earned PWT’s business.
PWT experienced immediate savings on routine maintenance and projects more savings on long-term maintenance. The company appreciates that the buses help reduce its carbon footprint. According to PWT, its propane fleet has removed 2,363 metric tonnes of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) from entering the atmosphere this year alone! That’s equivalent to preventing 506 passenger vehicles being driven for a year. PWT also values that with propane, no one can steal the fuel. And the drivers like that the propane buses heat up so quickly.
All of PWT’s propane buses have been purchased without subsidies or incentives as they are not offered in Canada, proving that propane buses pencil out with no handout, and in a big way.
Congratulations to Tom and PWT on having the largest propane school bus fleet in Canada and the third largest in North America!
Last week, students, parents and communities celebrated Teacher Appreciation Week. We’d like to thank all of the teachers who work tirelessly to educate and nurture our kids. Teacher’s deserve more than a week of praise and thanks, as this is one of the most undervalued professions in the country today.
Propane autogas engines have hit an all-time low. But as opposed to the stock market, that’s a good thing. Recently, new technology has enabled propane engines to reach near-zero emissions. Here’s the latest in low-NOx engines and how they can work for your company. All engines of any fuel type must be certified to the Environmental Protection Agency’s standard to control vehicle emissions. Over the years, the EPA has set tougher emissions standards on nitrogen oxides, known as NOx. According to a recent study, diesel-fueled medium- and heavy-duty vehicles are the number one source of NOx emissions in almost every single metropolitan region in the US. Approximately 55 percent of man-made NOx emissions comes from motor vehicles.
Propane Award Winners
Congratulations to our customers, San Diego Metro Transit System and Bethel School District, for winning the 2019 ACT Expo Transit and Mobility Award! The ACT Expo Fleet Awards recognize fleets and individuals who have shown tireless pursuit of sustainability in their fleet operations.