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    Propane Industry Announces New Medium-Duty Truck Applications for School Bus and Commercial Fleets


    Washington, D.C. (May 3, 2006) – The propane industry recently announced two new medium-duty vehicle products for school districts and commercial fleets. In early 2007, school districts will have access to a full-size propane-powered school bus, with development supported in part by an $859,494 propane industry research grant to Blue Bird Corporation. The bus will feature a liquid propane injection (LPI) 8.1-liter engine developed and sold by CleanFUEL USA. Development of the 8.1-liter engine was supported by more than $1 million in additional propane industry research grants.

    The Liquid Propane Injection (LPI) 8.1-liter engine that powers the Blue Bird bus received U.S. Environmental Protection Agency certification in March, with a rating of 0.5 grams of non-methane hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides (NMHC+NOx) per brake-horsepower-hour. The certification means that the engine emits 50 percent less NMHC+NOx than the 2007 ceilings established by the EPA for medium-duty trucks and buses. In addition to availability through Blue Bird’s school bus, the engine will be offered in commercial fleets through a network of GM Medium Duty Truck Dealers responsible for the sales and service support of the systems in their respective markets.

    The full-size conventional propane school bus to be developed by Blue Bird, in partnership with Powertrain Integration, will feature a low-emission certification and 270 horsepower @ 3600 rpm. The buses will be available in 47 to 77 passenger capacities with wheelbases ranging from 189 to 273 inches.

    “This week, the propane industry is in Washington to talk with policymakers about the role our industry can play in helping our country achieve energy independence. These engines demonstrate the significant investment the propane industry is making to help school districts and commercial fleets have access to cost-effective alternative fuel solutions that are available today,” said Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) President and CEO Roy Willis.

    According to research studies conducted by the World LP Gas Association and California Energy Commission, propane yields 12 percent less carbon dioxide, about 20 percent less nitrous oxide, and as much as 60 percent less carbon monoxide compared to gasoline. In addition, propane’s octane rating is 104 (compared to premium gasoline at 91-92), allowing for a higher compression ratio in the engine and greater engine efficiency, which ultimately leads to reductions in certain exhaust emissions, such as carbon monoxide.

    “One crucial benefit of the dedicated propane products is their potential role in supporting first responders,” said Brian Feehan, managing director of engine fuel programs for PERC. “After Hurricane Katrina, we saw state and local rescue initiatives halted because gasoline and diesel fuel were unavailable. Propane, on the other hand, is abundant and portable. And this new dedicated propane engine creates reliable alternatives for helping state and local officials keep emergency vehicles running in the wake of such catastrophes.”
     

    About Blue Bird: Blue Bird offers a complete line of Type A, C, and D school buses in a variety of options and configurations. For nearly 80 years, Blue Bird Corporation has continued to set industry quality standards with its innovative design, manufacturing capabilities and customer service. Blue Bird has an extensive network of distributors and service-parts facilities throughout North America. For more information, please visit http://www.blue-bird.com/

    About CleanFUEL USA: CleanFUEL USA, a Delaware Corporation founded in 1993, is located in Georgetown, Texas with administrative and sales offices in Michigan, Louisiana and California. CleanFUEL USA has international subsidiaries CleanFUEL India in New Delhi and CleanFUEL Argentina in Buenos Aires. CleanFUEL USA is recognized as the leading manufacturer of certified and approved alternative fuel dispensing equipment for both propane and E85, distributes OEM and aftermarket engine fuel systems, fleet management network services, and associated technical support, training and fuel contract services.

    About the Propane Education & Research Council: The purpose of the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) is to promote the safe, efficient use of propane as a preferred energy source. With the passing of the Propane Education and Research Act (PERA) in 1996 by Congress, the industry began to conduct a referendum among propane producers and marketers, who overwhelmingly approved the formation of the Council. Through PERC, the propane industry has committed itself to a multi-year, multi-million dollar effort to improve consumer and employee safety, to fund research and development of new and more efficient propane equipment, and to expand public awareness of propane and its many uses and environmental