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If your community is considering clean diesel school buses, have you thought about how it will perform five or ten years in the future? Clean diesel might seem like a good idea now, but it could end up costing you later. Here’s why:
Fleets are discovering that clean diesel engines degrade in performance over time, which can cause the engines to become non-compliant with emissions standards. Without rigorous maintenance, harmful tailpipe emissions are likely to increase as the vehicle ages and the system degrades.
Clean diesel engines require costly maintenance to stay efficient. Failure to keep up with manufacturer-recommended operating procedures and maintenance intervals has its consequences:
- Reduced performance.
- Premature component failure.
- Downtime to clean or replace DPF and other costly system components.
Clean diesel buses can only meet EPA and CARB certification levels with complex, expensive technology that costs you more over time — lifetime capital investments in wages, maintenance, repairs, and other hidden costs over the life of the vehicle.
A More Reliable Fuel
Instead, consider propane autogas, which in real-world testing conducted by West Virginia University in 2018 produced 96 percent fewer NOx emissions compared with clean diesel buses. These engines won’t require additional fluids, filters, or arduous maintenance to remain compliant. In fact, propane autogas is 93 percent more cost-effective to operate at just $0.19 per mile compared with diesel at $0.80 per mile (accounting for fuel and maintenance).