The Big Green Bus
The Big Green Bus is inspirational on many levels, and foremost in my mind is the fact that it is used as an ecologically sustainable vehicle to educate and enlighten. As the idea of “going green” becomes more prevalent in our culture, resources have become available to help bus owners convert their engines from fossil fuel to eco-friendly ethanol or electric burners. These bus conversions go a long way in our efforts as a society to become more sustainable and to eliminate or at least lessen our dependence on fossil fuels. This post delves into a few methods that bus owners can try to in order to go about accomplishing this goal.
Most diesel engines run just fine on vegetable oil. The most popular way to convert your diesel vehicle to be more sustainable is by enabling its fuel line to run on biodiesel. This means that instead of running on just diesel fuel alone, it will be able to run on vegetable oil as well even in the winter when vegetable oil thickens and could clog the fuel line. Many restaurant owners will happily give away their used vegetable oil, and then all you have to do is filter out waste particles and any excess water. Vegetable oil has similar combustion properties to petroleum diesel and will work in your engine.
Many people recommend using a biodiesel conversion kit to heat up the oil so that it never clogs the fuel line. You can also run your engine on vegetable oil alone in warmer temperatures but if bus owners want to, they can purchase a biodiesel conversion kit from the Internet or do it themselves, like the mechanics working on the Big Green Bus. Kits start at around $1200 and can range upwards of $4000. DFA or Dino Fuel Alternatives has several different kinds of kits available. Each kit contains parts to modify the fuel line so that it accommodates biodiesel. It is wise to install this kit with the help of someone who is familiar with mechanics. The best system for your bus is one you understand. That way, if anything ever goes wrong, you can attempt to figure out the problem. One potential problem is clogged fuel filters because the biodiesel fuel clings to all the dirt in your fuel tank. The first time you try biodiesel your fuel filter may clog, and all you have to do is replace your fuel filter and try again. Sometimes it takes two filters until the biodiesel clears out your fuel tank. After that, the biodiesel keeps your fuel line free of dirt.
Another way to make your bus more sustainable is by converting it to run entirely on electricity. This method involves entirely removing your existing engine and replacing it with an electric motor. This motor uses large batteries that cost somewhere between $1000-$3000 including installation. The conversion will cost another $6000 for labor and parts. Obtaining an electric conversion kit is necessary, and again it would be infinitely helpful to have a mechanic assisting you. Also, vehicles that weigh less will perform better after the conversion.
There are other ways to convert your vehicle to be more sustainable, as well. Some alternative fuels include water, natural gas, and alcohol. All of these conversions will help your gas mileage, EPA emissions, and carbon footprint. Additionally, you will be spending significantly less on gas. Finding a shuttle bus for sale would allow you to take a cheap trip across the country. There are plenty of resources available online to help you convert your bus to become more sustainable. This project is worthwhile for the bus owner and the planet!
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