Collins Bus Corporation said it is accepting orders for its Type-A CNG bus that has an estimated range of 250 to 300 miles, decreases greenhouse gases by 15 percent and reduces operating costs. The bus goes into production this fall.
Collins is partnering with Westport, which is providing the dedicated natural-gas Westport Wing Power System that is certified by the California Air Resources Board and the U.S. EPA. The CNG bus is also the "first-ever, Ford-recognized, Type-A school bus that runs on natural gas," said Paul Shaffer, Westport's vice president and managing director of North American Ford business.
The bus is built on a Ford E-450 6.8L cutaway chassis backed by a Ford Factory five-year or 60,000-mile engine and powertrain warranty.
"We are very pleased to partner with Westport to begin offering a CNG bus model in the fastest-growing segment of the alternative-fuel school bus market," said Kent Tyler, president and CEO of Allied Specialty Vehicles' bus division and interim president of Collins Bus. "As Ford's largest qualified vehicle modifier, Westport has the CNG expertise and proven technology that allows us to offer the most reliable clean-energy Type A school bus model available to meet the evolving needs of our dealers and diverse customer base."
Shaeffer added that Westport engineers worked alongside Ford and Collins Bus to perform "extensive simulations and physical crash-testing to meet the stringent school bus safety requirements."
"With the distinct price and emissions benefits of natural gas, we're excited to offer a CNG-powered product to school districts," he concluded.