CARB certifies ROUSH CleanTech’s Gen 5 propane engine for Blue Bird school buses to ultra-low NOx standards
ROUSH CleanTech is the first original equipment manufacturer to receive California Air Resources Board’s (CARB’s) 0.02 grams per brake horsepower-hour certification for 2022 model year vehicles. The optional ultra-low CARB certification is 90% cleaner than current emissions standards for nitrogen oxides. The new engine certification covers ROUSH CleanTech Gen 5 7.3L V8 propane engines (based on the new Ford 7.3L V8) for Blue Bird school buses.
Ford’s new 350-horsepower 7.3L engine is narrower than the previous 6.8L, allowing more room for service work. Innovations for the Gen 5 fuel system include stronger and lighter forged fuel rails and unique routing that keeps the engine-fuel distribution well organized. The system benefits from all of Ford’s performance and quality characteristics, such as horsepower, torque and towing, while maintaining the outstanding OEM factory warranty.
Propane is well established as an economical, clean and domestically produced alternative fuel for school buses. Nitrogen oxides (NOx) are a group of gases known to be a primary contributor to acid rain, smog and other air quality issues. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, exposure to NOx can trigger health problems, such as asthma and other respiratory issues, especially in children.
This is the second time ROUSH CleanTech has earned the ultra-low NOx certification, previously for its 6.8L V10 propane engine in 2018. The certification is part of a proposed federal emissions regulation that goes into effect in 2027.
Since the introduction of our Ford 7.3L V8 propane engine in 2020, our team has worked tirelessly to gain this emissions certification. We didn’t wait for the regulation to go into law. We’ve already achieved it.—Todd Mouw, president of ROUSH CleanTech
Blue Bird propane school buses equipped with the ultra-low NOx engines will provide school districts and school bus contractors multiple advantages in seeking funding from the new Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act’s (IIJA) Clean School Bus Program. The provision provides $2.5 billion for the purchase of low- and zero-emission school buses, including propane which is identified in the legislation as an emerging alternative fuel. Funding is slated to be released beginning in 2022 and continuing through 2026, with project implementation as soon as next year.