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Fleet of Clean-Operating Propane School Buses Roll into South Carolina

2/13/2017

Blanchard Bus Centers delivers 26 new Blue Bird Vision Propane units to state of South Carolina

COLUMBIA, S.C.(February 9, 2017) —The first of 26 propane-powered school buses were unveiled today at a ceremony in Summerville. In an effort to be more economically and environmentally responsible, the state of South Carolina has purchased these new Blue Bird Vision Propane school buses to replace aging diesel buses. The alternative-fueled buses will be deployed to service Dorchester and Berkeley counties tomorrow.

“While the South Carolina Department of Education is a low-bid state, wehad heard about the propane technology that Blue Bird propane buses possess from various sources,” said Mike Bullman, director of maintenance for South Carolina Department of Education. “With aging diesel buses in our fleet, it was time to replacethemand propane was the option we thought worked best financially and environmentallyspeaking over the long-term.

”These clean-operatingpropane buses represent the largest order of alternative-fueled school buses that the state has placed in the last 30 years. The buses were purchased fromBlue Bird's newest dealership in North America, Blanchard Bus Centers.

“We’re pleased to offer alternative fuel options for school buses,” said Joe Blanchard, president of Blanchard Bus Centers. “We believe the state ofSouth Carolina will begin to see immediate benefits from these new ‘clean’ buses. The financial savings should be noticeable from the beginning. An average propane bus saves a school district up to $3,500 per year in fuel costs alone."

The Blue Bird Vision Propane buses emit 80 percent fewer smog-producing hydrocarbons and virtually eliminate particulate matter when compared with conventional diesel. These buses will reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by over 40,600pounds and particulate matter by more than825pounds each year compared with the diesel buses being replaced. Equipped with Ford Motor Company’s 6.8L V10 engine, each bus is powered by a ROUSH CleanTech propane fuel system.“

Propane autogas is a proven alternative fuel option for school districts,” said Todd Mouw, vice president ofsales and marketing at ROUSH CleanTech. “This domestic fuel alsoproduces far less particulate matter and NOx emissions than diesel, so the buses don't require expensive and difficult to maintain after-treatment components to makethe busesrun clean.”

Blue Bird Corporation, the manufacturer of these buses, says that propane power is a perfect match for school buses, and the school districts in the state.“

Sales of the Vision Propane busincreased 33% in 2016 when compared to 2015, and it’s no surprise to us,” said Blue Bird’s Chief Commercial Officer Mark Terry.“These buses clearly work to save districts money, and areincredibly environmentally friendly. We are glad to see that South Carolina has added this amazing product to their fleet. We know they will not be disappointed.”

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