@ BUSCON: The Micro Bird G5 ROUSH liquid propane-powered E-450 has a 25-passenger capacity and will be available exclusively through Blue Bird dealers nationwide beginning in the first quarter of 2011.
CHICAGO — During the BusCon Expo show last week, Micro Bird, a joint venture company owned by BLUE BIRD CORP. and the Girardin family, launched the G5, a new ROUSH liquid-propane powered E-450 Dual Rear Wheel (DRW) cutaway vehicle.
The Micro Bird G5 was displayed in the Propane Education and Research Council (PERC) Propane booth at the Navy Pier convention hall Sept. 29-30 in Chicago.
The Micro Bird G5 ROUSH liquid propane-powered E-450 has a 25-passenger capacity and will be available exclusively through Blue Bird dealers nationwide, starting next quarter. This bus uses the Ford 6.8L, V-10 engine which runs on the ROUSH liquid propane injection fuel system. It offers reduced operation expenses and cleaner emissions. The fuel capacity is 43 gallons which, depending on driving conditions, has a range of 320 miles.
"This product delivers on a need that the shuttle bus, school bus and delivery markets have been asking for,” said Todd Mouw, ROUSH vice-president of sales and marketing. “Through the use of propane, fleets will significantly reduce their operating costs as well as the carbon footprint for those that adopt this liquid propane technology without compromising any of the key vehicle attributes such as horsepower, torque, weight, or the space available for passengers or cargo.
“We are excited to partner with Micro Bird on a Class A school bus that [uses] this Dual Rear Wheel and liquid propane injection conversion system. Nothing speaks louder about safety and reduced emissions than putting children, our most precious cargo, in a propane-powered vehicle like the Micro Bird G5,” Mouw added.
As an alternative fuel, propane offers a variety of advantages. It is available “right here, right now” with a national infrastructure already in place. According to ROUSH, propane burns cleaner than gasoline or diesel, with up to 20% less nitrogen oxide, up to 60% less carbon monoxide, 24% fewer greenhouse gas emissions, and fewer particulate emissions when compared to gasoline. It is already the third most widely used fuel worldwide, following gasoline and diesel. Propane also plays a strong role in lowering U.S. dependence on foreign oil, as 90% of the propane used today comes from domestic sources of production.
Numerous studies have been conducted on the operational savings fleets can achieve by converting to propane as a motor fuel. A savings calculator is available online at SWITCHTOPROPANE.COM, which allows the user to input variables specific to their usage and see first-hand the savings that propane can provide.
ROUSH liquid propane-powered vehicles, such as the Micro Bird G5 Ford E-450 DRW Cutaway, have no additional weight added as is the case with some other alternative fuel options. This means that stopping distance and brake wear will be comparable to a gasoline or diesel vehicle, as well as cargo weight capabilities. Furthermore, there is no loss of horsepower or torque running on propane.