Ohio Propane School Buses

One-Stop-Shop to Huge Savings on Vehicle Fuel and Maintenance, Fueling Infrastructure, and Tailpipe Emissions

STEP 1: Propane Bus Types

Fuel Propane Electricity Diesel Gasoline Natural Gas
COST/MILE
$0.63
$2.02
$0.86
$0.85
$0.76

More Uptime

With propane, engine work is minimal as compared to gasoline and Diesel engines.

MINIMIZE

Unexpected Downtime for Repairs

SUPERIOR PERFORMANCE

in Cold Weather

Lowest Total Cost-of-Ownership

School districts use the savings captured from propane to use for kids.

NO

Volatile Pricing

NO

Additional Fluids or Filters

Safer for Kids, Teachers & Parents

With propane, kids and school bus drivers are safer because it offers a very quiet ride for all.

MORE PLEASANT

Journey for Everyone

NOTICEABLY QUIETER

Operation than Diesel

No more black smoke for kids

With propane fuel (autogas), school districts are providing healthier environments for students, drivers, and their neighborhoods by substantially reducing tailpipe emissions.

Propane is a clean-burning alternative fuel that’s been used for decades to power light, medium, and heavy-duty propane vehicles.

Source: AFDC.energy.gov

Propane Out-preforms Electric

See the numbers for yourself

The affordability and scalability of propane autogas refueling options are unmatched compared with electric. These examples compare the typical expected costs of propane fuel (autogas) refueling infrastructure with comparable recharging infrastructure for electric school bus fleets. 

Fuel Propane Electric Diesel

Purchase Cost

$108,000 / bus

$375,000 / bus

$100,000 / bus



STANDARD Infrastructure Cost

10 buses

$20K - $60K
if district owned

$1,500 - $15K
if leased from propane co.

$80K - $480K
N/A

Fuel Range

up to
300 miles
per 67-gal tank

up to
120 miles
per charge

up to
500 miles
per fill

Fueling / Charging Time

6-8 min.
6-8 hours
6-8 min.

Cost Per Mile*
*Over a 15-year life-cyle

$0.63
$2.02
$0.86

Frequently Asked Questions

Is propane a clean alternative fuel?

Yes, the EPA considers propane as a clean alternative fuel under the Energy Policy Act of 1992.

How is propane cleaner than other vehicles?

Propane autogas vehicles cut significantly more NOx (Nitrogen oxides) and greenhouse gas emissions compared to diesel and gasoline. The EPA considers propane a clean fuel. Propane is known as the number one alternative fuel around the world.

Is a propane engine viable?

Propane vehicles have been widely used and refined for decades, and a propane vehicle’s power, acceleration, and cruising speed are similar to those of conventionally fueled vehicles.

How many other school districts in Ohio are using propane in their bus fleets?

There are over 700 propane buses and over 30,000 propane vehicles in operation around the state of Ohio. Twenty-nine school districts are currently using propane in their bus fleet, but that number is growing.

How safe is propane Autogas?

Propane Autogas is nontoxic, has a lower flammability range than conventional gasoline, and odorized for easy detection. Propane containers are equipped with safety devices, including pressure-relief valves, shut-off valves that detect fuel line ruptures, and overfill protection. As well as being constructed from carbon steel and are 20 times more puncture-resistant than conventional gasoline and diesel tanks. 

How do I save money by converting my bus fleet to propane?

When you switch your bus fleet to propane, you not only save on fuel costs, but maintenance costs as well. Propane does not require extra fuel conditioners like diesel, requires less oil by volume, does not require an engine block heater and engines last longer due to propane’s clean properties.

What funding is available to help get my bus fleet convert to propane?

The Ohio Propane Gas Association offers a $4,000 rebate (up to $20,000) to Ohio residents that are either buying a new propane vehicle (including school buses), or converting their vehicle to propane.

Click Here to Learn More

STEP 2: Propane Engines & Conversions

Micro Bird G5 School Bus

With their precious cargo, school bus companies take every precaution to ensure the safety of the children they transport on a daily basis. The Blue Bird Micro Bird G5 is a Type A multi-function school activity and commercial bus fueled by non-toxic, non-carcinogenic and non-corrosive propane autogas.

Peak Power & Torque

Chassis Type Power Torque
2022 E-350
325 hp @ 3750 rpm
450 ft-lbs @ 3750 rpm
2022 E-450
300 HP @ 3,800
425 lb-ft @ 3,250

Blue Bird Type C School Bus

The Blue Bird Vision equipped with propane autogas fuel system provides the most tank options available of any propane-powered school bus.

Peak Power & Torque

Governed Speed Power Torque
4250 rpm
320 hp
460 lb-ft

PURCHASE NEW / USED SCHOOL BUSES AND MAINTENANCE THROUGH ROUSH AND CARDINAL BUS SALES & SERVICE, INC.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the torque comparable to gasoline or diesel?

Vehicles equipped with Roush CleanTech’s propane autogas fuel systems retain equivalent horsepower, torque, towing capacity and warranty coverage as gas and diesel counterparts.

How do propane buses handle cold temperatures?

Propane shines in cold temperatures. It does not require a block heater, unlike diesel and heats the bus up quicker in the cold. Shawn Dawson, Fleet and Operations Manager at Westerville City Schools in Westerville, OH, stated, “Our propane buses performed phenomenally in the freezing cold. We did not have to plug in heaters for the buses, and they started right up.”

What is the average mileage range of a propane school bus on a single tank of propane?

The average mileage a Type C propane school bus can get on one tank of propane is 300-350 miles.

How big is the average propane tank on a school bus?

On average, the size of a propane tank on a Type C school bus holds about 67-93 gallons of usable propane.

Is there training available for my bus mechanics?

Yes, Roush CleanTech offers online, onsite and a 2-day training factory workshop for your bus mechanics to get trained to work on propane buses. 

Click here for more information

How much does a propane school bus cost?

On average, a Type C propane school bus costs about $108,000.

Who do I reach out to once I have chosen to convert my fleet to propane?

Once you have decided to make the switch to propane, reach out to your local propane supplier or propane bus dealer and they will get you started on converting your fleet to propane.

STEP 3: Fueling & Infrastructure

Private (fleet owned or propane supplier owned) and Public Options Available

Options Onsite Standard Private station Onsite Advanced Private station
Fleet Size
Best for a fleet of less than 50
Best for 50+ vehicles
Set-Up
Onsite 1,000 - 3,000-gallon tank
Larger gallon tank, canopy & multiple dispensers
Propane Supplier Owns Infrastructure
The fleet is responsible for site preparation: crash protection and electrical.

Cost for Fleet: $1,500-$15,000 (site preparation)

The fleet is responsible for site preparation: crash protection and electrical for a two-dispenser setup.

Cost for Fleet: $5,000-$75,000 (site preparation)

Fleet Owns Infrastructure
The fleet will need to account for purchasing the propane tank, pump, motor, and dispenser.

Cost for Fleet: $20,000-$60,000 (infrastructure) + $1,500-$15,000 (site preparation)

The fleet is responsible for site preparation: crash protection and electrical for a two-dispenser setup.

Cost for Fleet: $60,000-$225,000 (infrastructure) + $5,000-$75,000 (site preparation)

Private or
Public Network
Fleets with limited space, or fleets needing more fueling locations along their routes can take advantage of this option with no infrastructure investment. Network refueling stations are accessible 24/7 through a card lock system. If a network is not currently available in your area, a propane supplier may create one for your fleet, if it’s large enough. Alternatively, multiple fleets can team up to provide adequate load for requesting a refueling network.

Onsite Standard Private station

  • Best for a fleet of less than 5o 
  • Onsite 1,000 – 3,000-gallon tank

Option 1: Propane Supplier Owns Infrastructure

The fleet is responsible for site preparation: crash protection and electrical.

Cost for Fleet: $1,500-$15,000 (site preparation)

Option 2: Fleet Owns Infrastructure

The fleet will need to account for purchasing the propane tank, pump, motor, and dispenser.

Cost for Fleet: $20,000-$60,000 (infrastructure) + $1,500-$15,000 (site preparation)

Onsite Advanced Private station

  • Best for 50+ vehicles
  • Larger gallon tank, canopy & multiple dispensers

Option 1: Propane Supplier Owns Infrastructure

The fleet is responsible for site preparation: crash protection and electrical for a two-dispenser setup.

Cost for Fleet: $5,000-$75,000 (site preparation)

Option 2: Fleet Owns Infrastructure

The fleet is responsible for site preparation: crash protection and electrical for a two-dispenser setup.

Cost for Fleet: $60,000-$225,000 (infrastructure) + $5,000-$75,000 (site preparation)

Private or Public Network

Fleets with limited space, or fleets needing more fueling locations along their routes can take advantage of this option with no infrastructure investment. Network refueling stations are accessible 24/7 through a card lock system.

If a network is not currently available in your area, a propane supplier may create one for your fleet, if it’s large enough. Alternatively, multiple fleets can team up to provide adequate load for requesting a refueling network.

Work With Your Propane Provider to
Get the Lowest Cost Per Mile

There are 263 Propane Marketers in Ohio, Use the Map to Find One in Your Local Area

Propane Public Fueling Stations & Service Centers

Propane Public Fueling Stations
& Service Centers

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the storage life of propane?

Unlike diesel’s one-year shelf life and gasoline’s 3 to 6 month shelf life, propane can be stored indefinitely so it is highly effective and convenient for both residential and commercial sectors.

How do I start my own private fueling station?

Contact your local propane marketer and they can offer an inexpensive lease of the tank, pump, and dispensing equipment in return for a fuel supply contract. Or, they can contact an infrastructure manufacture to purchase your own fueling equipment and shop around for propane fueling prices.

STEP 4: Funding Options

OPGA Offers up to $20,000 for Propane Vehicles, up to $5,000 for Mowers

Limit of five (5) rebates per single entity

I. Propane Vehicles and Lawn Mowers

The Ohio Propane Gas Association (OPGA) is offering Ohio propane customers $4,000 rebates, up to $20,000, for the purchase of new propane vehicles or new propane vehicle conversions. $1,000, up to $5,000, is being offered for new propane lawn mowers or mower conversions. Propane companies and their employees are also eligible to apply. Rebates are available first come, first serve, while funding lasts.

Vehicle qualifications (EPA approved engines / conversions) include:

  • School Buses registered and operated in Ohio
  • New propane buses
  • Used Propane School Buses, 2019 or newer

  • New propane conversion vehicles (current model year or previous model year with less than 15,000 miles) 

  • New propane OEM lawn mower 
  • New propane converted mower (less than 250 hours) 

Funding qualifications include:

  • Limit of five (5) rebates per single entity
  • All eligible purchase must occur within 2023
  • Before receiving an OPGA Autogas rebate, all federal and state incentives must be applied, and funds may be used for incremental cost of propane vehicle vs. gasoline or diesel vehicle only.
  • A completed initial survey and final survey is required for each vehicle incentive
  • Recipient agrees to maintain and submit a report one-year after rebate received:
    • Miles driven for vehicles or hours used for mowers
    • Gallons of propane used
    • Anecdotal performance characteristics 
  • 50% rebate funds disbursed after initial survey, 50% rebate funds disbursed at final survey 

(The OPGA uses data for vehicle performance vs. gasoline)

  • Vehicle Information 
  • Applicant information
  • Propane Marketer information
  • Attach invoice for new propane vehicle or propane retrofit system

Return completed application in one-of-three ways:

  • Email to: OPGA@kdafirm.com
  • Fax to: (517) 485-9408
  • Mail to:
    OPGA
    605 N. High St. #214
    Columbus, OH 43215
Deadline: 4 pm ET on February 14th, 2024
 
Includes propane school buses or buses in service for transportation of students. EPA anticipates awarding approximately $400 million in competitive grant funding under the Clean School Bus (CSB) Grants Program Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO).
 
CONTACT:
Clean School Bus Program
 

Opened: Tuesday, May 7th, 2024
Deadline: Friday, December 6th, 2024 at 11:59 PM ET

Includes propane vehicles. Eligible diesel vehicles, engines, and equipment include School buses, Class 5 – Class 8 heavy-duty highway vehicles, Locomotive engines, Marine engines, Non-road engines, equipment or vehicles used in construction, handling of cargo (including at ports or airports), agriculture, mining or energy production (including stationary generators and pumps).

CONTACT:DERA Helplinedera@epa.gov877-623-2322

Frequently Asked Questions

What funding is available to help get my bus fleet converted to propane?

The Ohio Propane Gas Association offers a $4,000 rebate (up to $20,000) to Ohio residents that are either buying a new propane vehicle (including school buses), or converting their vehicle to propane.

What do I need to do to get a $4,000 OPGA Autogas rebate
(up to $20,000)?
  •  Entities residing in Ohio where on-road vehicles are registered and operated in Ohio
  • Any new propane school bus
  • New vehicles have no more than 5,000 miles.
I already have propane buses, but would like to expand my propane school bus fleet, do I qualify for the rebate?

Yes, if you already have propane school buses and would like to expand your fleet of propane, you qualify for the OPGA’s propane vehicle rebate.

Where can I go to purchase a propane bus?

You can purchase propane vehicles straight from the manufacture or your local dealership; just let them know you would like to purchase a propane school bus.

Our Rebate Team is Ready to Help!