US School District Takes First Step To 100% CNG Bus Fleet
North Kansas City, Missouri School District has procured Thomas Built Buses’ new launched Saf-T-Liner® C2 compressed natural gas (CNG) school bus, launched in June with the Cummins Westport ISB6.7 G 6-7 liter natural gas engine. The North American bus manufacturer says these units, which are the first Type C CNG school buses in the industry, also represent the largest single conversion to CNG in the nation.
North Kansas City also purchased 14 CNG-powered Type A Minoutour® school buses to round out their fleet.
“We are excited to be the first school district in the country to incorporate Type C compressed natural gas school buses into our fleet,” said Lon Waterman, transportation director, North Kansas City, Missouri School District. “We strongly believe in the benefits of compressed natural gas, and we look forward to running a cleaner, greener and more cost-effective fleet. Adding the Saf-T-Liner C2 CNG is a milestone for us and the first step to converting our entire fleet to compressed natural gas.”
The North Kansas City, Missouri School district is the nation’s largest school district to convert its buses to CNG. The district expects to see a reduction of more than 5,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions with this conversion, and an increase of fuel economy from 5.6 mpg with its diesel buses to 8 mpg with the new CNG engines.
Although some school districts receive subsidies for alternative fuel school buses, the overall purchase of these buses, including the capital costs for the school buses, infrastructure and shop improvements, is being financed through Daimler Truck Financial. (Thomas Built Buses, Inc., headquartered in High Point, N.C., is a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America LLC.) No grants or subsidies are being used for this conversion.
The new Saf-T-Liner C2 CNG school bus utilizes the Cummins Westport ISB6.7 G 6-7 liter natural gas engine and an Allison 2000 series transmission. It is CARB-certified and exceeds EPA 2013 emissions requirements.
“Today we celebrate the first purchase of the first Type C CNG school bus in the industry,” said Caley Edgerly, president and CEO of Thomas Built Buses. “This is a significant event for us and for the school bus industry as a whole. Compressed natural gas always has been a popular choice for our customers because it is a lower-priced fuel which burns more cleanly, and we have an abundant fuel supply right here in the U.S. Now, we can finally offer this alternative fuel to customers who know and love our popular C2.”
Thomas Built introduced its first compressed natural gas bus nearly 20 years ago, and has sold more than 2,000 CNG buses. Today, its natural gas vehicle lineup now includes the Saf-T-Liner C2 CNG, Saf-T-Liner® HDX CNG, and Minotour® CNG.