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Press Release

07/27/2016

North Kansas City Purchases 110 Saf-T-Liner® C2 CNG School Buses

Largest single conversion to CNG

Contact: nicholas.smith@daimler.com

HIGH POINT, N.C. – July 27, 2016 – Thomas Built Buses has launched its Saf-T-Liner® C2 compressed natural gas school bus with the purchase of 110 units by North Kansas City, Missouri School District. 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 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. 

The school district worked closely with Scott Kincaid, Midwest Bus Sales general manager to make the conversion. “We worked with North Kansas City in 2010 when they purchased their very first compressed natural gas buses, the Saf-T-Liner® HDX CNG models.  Compressed natural gas has proven to be a promising addition to their fleet and we are very excited that they have chosen Thomas Built Buses as their bus of choice for their CNG conversion.  It’s a huge step for them and a very exciting one for us.” 

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.  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. The new bus is CARB-certified and exceeds EPA 2013 emissions requirements.  Like all other C2 models, the Saf-T-Liner C2 CNG features excellent driver ergonomics and maneuverability, along with the best visibility, safety and durability in its class.

“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.  We cannot wait to see North Kansas City’s buses on the road this school year.”

Thomas Built leads the industry in incorporating green technology into its buses. The company introduced its first compressed natural gas bus nearly 20 years ago, and has sold more than 2,000 CNG buses. Today, its green vehicle lineup also includes the Saf-T-Liner® C2 PropaneSaf-T-Liner® HDX CNGMinotour® Propane and Minotour® CNG

For more information about the Saf-T-Liner C2 CNG, customers may contact their local Thomas Built Buses dealer. 

About Thomas Built Buses

Founded in 1916, Thomas Built Buses is a leading manufacturer of school buses in North America. Since the first Thomas Built bus rolled off the assembly line, the company has been committed to delivering the smartest and most innovative buses in North America. Learn more at www.thomasbus.com or at www.facebook.com/thomasbuiltbuses.                                                                            

Thomas Built Buses, Inc., headquartered in High Point, N.C., is a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America LLC, the largest heavy-duty truck manufacturer in North America and a leading manufacturer of class 4-8 vehicles. Daimler Trucks North America produces and markets commercial vehicles under the Freightliner, Western Star and Thomas Built Buses nameplates. Daimler Trucks North America is a Daimler company.