IC Bus announced it would roll out its CE Series school bus powered by the Power Solutions International (PSI) 8.8-liter LP propane engine next summer, for the start of the 2015-2016 school year. With this launch, now all three major school bus OEMs will have propane offerings.
The CE Series school bus powered by propane autogas also integrates the Allison 2500 transmission with FuelSense to maximize fuel economy. The new bus will be on display at the National Association for Pupil Transportation Summit in Kansas City, Missouri, this November.
The PSI 8.8-liter engine has been specially engineered for the school bus market to provide diesel-like performance with higher torque at lower engine speeds.
“Our customers asked for a better propane fuel choice for the market and we answered,” said John McKinney, president of IC Bus, in a statement. “Our IC Bus CE Series with PSI’s 8.8-liter LP engine will be the first school bus specifically engineered to run on propane without sacrificing power, performance or durability.”
With a rating of 565 lb-ft at 1500 rpm, the engine’s design enhances stop-and-start applications to allow rapid acceleration after stops and greater hill-climbing capability, which PSI said improves both startability and gradability while minimizing the noise, heat and vibration associated with constant engine revving. The company added that minimal revving reduces engine wear, oil usage and maintenance as well.
“Until now, the propane vehicle market had been supported by underpowered engines that run at high-speeds to get the required power,” said Gary Winemaster, chairman and CEO of PSI. “The PSI 8.8-liter engine is an economic, low-speed solution that boasts diesel-like performance, high durability, reduced noise and overall wear with all the benefits of alternative fuels.”
In July, PSI announced that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certified the company's 8.8-liter propane and natural gas fueled engine for on-highway applications. This engine suits various applications besides school buses, including transit buses, vocational trucks, delivery fleets, recreational vehicles and tow, utility and garbage trucks.
IC Bus will manufacture the new propane CE Series school buses at its assembly plant in Tulsa, Oklahoma.