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Roush CleanTech Sees Propane Engine Sales Pick Up

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Roush CleanTech – the division of Roush Enterprises focusing on alternative-fuel propulsion – expects to sell 6,000 of its liquid propane-fueled Ford engines this year, surpassing 20,000 total sales, reports the Detroit Free Press.

It took the company six years to reach 14,000 unit sales – an average of around 2,300 sales per year.

Roush CleanTech modifies Ford’s 6.8-liter V10 petrol engine to run on propane autogas, using up to 170 unique components. The advantages of fueling with propane – sometimes called Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) – are clear: “It’s cleaner than gasoline and diesel. We have a lot of it [in the US], and we started to see that from a technical perspective it’s easy to integrate into a Ford truck or a school bus,” says Roush CleanTech Vice President of Sales and Marketing Todd Mouw.

The Ford V10s that Roush CleanTech modifies to run on LPG can be ordered in medium-duty Ford chassis cabs and cutaways, but of particular value to the company of late is a partnership with the Blue Bird Corporation – a Georgia-based company best known for their school buses. Roush ships its modified¬†Ford V10s directly to Blue Bird’s manufacturing plant in Ft. Valley.

“School buses operating on propane are environmentally friendly and reliable in cold weather conditions, plus offer cost-saving benefits,” says Keith Wunderlich, Superintendent of Waterford Schools in Michigan, which just added 10 new propane-fueled buses from Blue Bird to its fleet in December.

Propane autogas still trails behind Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) in terms of popularity in alternative-fuel vehicles in the US, but not by much; the Detroit Free Press reports that there are currently around 143k LPG-fueled vehicles on the road in the country, compared to 153k powered by CNG.

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Aaron Brzozowski is a writer and motoring enthusiast from Detroit with an affinity for '80s German steel. He is not active on the Twitter these days, but you may send him a courier pigeon.

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