Market Overview

Alt Fuels Leader Blue Bird First to Offer Certified Ultra-Low NOx Level for Propane School Buses


Blue Bird offers a 0.02 g/bhp-hr propane engine developed by
partner ROUSH CleanTech; the lowest NOx level in Class 4-7 vehicles and
exclusive to Blue Bird Type C school buses

In a tradition of offering first-to-market alternative fuel innovations,
Blue Bird once again has set the standard for air quality in the school
bus industry. Certified by both the EPA and California Air Resources
Board at 0.02 g/bhp-hr, Blue Bird's Vision Propane buses now
offer an optional ultra-low NOx level option. Developed in their
partnership with Roush CleanTech, Blue Bird is providing the cleanest
propane engine available for school buses on the market, with this
version being 90 percent cleaner than the current emissions
standard and 10 times cleaner than any non-Blue Bird propane school bus
option available today.

Last year, Blue Bird released the first 0.05 g/bhp-hr NOx Ford 6.8L
engine in their Vision Propane buses, which at the time operated with
the lowest NOx levels of any engine in Class 4-7 vehicles on the market.
CARB has further encouraged engine manufacturers to reduce levels below
the current mandatory EPA standard of 0.2 grams per brake horsepower
hour (known as g/bhp-hr). Reaching lower emission reduction levels
allows districts more opportunities for securing green-initiative grants
as well as providing higher levels of funding based on the lowest levels
of NOx of any non-electric vehicle.

"To continue our tradition in alternative fuels leadership, we are proud
to be the first manufacturer certified to this lowest NOx level in a
Type C school bus. Our overarching goal is to continually build a better
bus that provides a clean and safe environment for our students and
communities," said Mark Terry, chief commercial officer of Blue Bird.
"The Blue Bird Vision Propane continues to dominate, and we continue to
make investments to ensure it exceeds our customers' expectations with
the lowest NOx emissions and the lowest ownership costs."

Blue Bird's new ultra-low NOx certification allows districts to take
advantage of many opportunities

  • The option of Ultra Low NOx opens more doors for additional grant
    incentives, as well as higher levels of funding, including those from
    the VW Settlement.
  • With the added bonus of federal and local rebates and incentives for
    alternative fuels, districts are saving up to $3,500 per bus annually
    on fuel and maintenance costs.
  • The 0.02 Ultra-Low NOx option is 90 Percent Cleaner than non-Blue Bird
    propane bus makes currently available, further reducing negative
    environmental impact and improving air quality for children who suffer
    from asthma-related symptoms and other breathing issues.

Over the past year, NOx has received attention because of Volkswagen's
emissions settlement. The automaker's $2.9 billion Environmental
Mitigation Trust will fund actions that specifically reduce excess NOx
emissions and state after state are including alternative fueled school
buses in their funding models. "Many school districts will have access
to funding to replace aging diesel models with clean-burning propane
buses," said Todd Mouw, president of ROUSH CleanTech.

Propane is naturally much cleaner than diesel and gasoline. The
ultra-low NOx Blue Bird Vision Propane operates on an engine that is 90
percent cleaner than the current 2010 emissions standards and 99 percent
cleaner than pre-2007 standards. Thousands of school districts still
operate diesel buses manufactured before 2007.

"A school district can operate 100 buses with the 0.02 NOx engines and
emit less NOx emissions than one diesel bus manufactured before 2007,"
said Mouw. "Our nation has an abundant supply of propane; combine that
with the economic and environmental benefits, and it's no wonder that
more than 850 school districts have already chosen propane buses."

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.

Today almost 1 million students ride to school in more than 14,000
propane school buses around the nation.

About Blue Bird Corporation: Blue Bird (NASDAQ:BLBD) is the
leading independent designer and manufacturer of school buses, with more
than 550,000 buses sold since its formation in 1927 and approximately
180,000 buses in operation today. Blue Bird's longevity and reputation
in the school bus industry have made it an iconic American brand. Blue
Bird distinguishes itself from its principal competitors by its singular
focus on the design, engineering, manufacture and sale of school buses
and related parts. As the only manufacturer of chassis and body
production specifically designed for school bus applications, Blue Bird
is recognized as an industry leader for school bus innovation, safety,
product quality/reliability/durability, operating costs and drivability.
In addition, Blue Bird is the market leader in alternative fuel
applications with its propane-powered, electric and compressed natural
gas-powered school buses. Blue Bird manufactures school buses at two
facilities in Fort Valley, Georgia. Its Micro Bird joint venture
operates a manufacturing facility in Drummondville, Quebec, Canada.
Service and after-market parts are distributed from Blue Bird's parts
distribution center located in Delaware, Ohio. For more information on
Blue Bird's complete line of buses, visit

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