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Mazda Begins Leasing Dual-Fuel Hydrogen Vehicle

15 February 2006

Hydrogenrx8
RX-8 Hydrogen RE

Mazda Motor Corporation has begun leasing the RX-8 Hydrogen RE (earlier post) to its first two corporate customers: Idemitsu Kosan Co. Ltd. and Iwatani International Corporation, both companies operating in the energy sector.

The RX-8 Hydrogen RE is equipped with a rotary engine, and features a dual-fuel system that allows the driver to select either hydrogen or gasoline with the flick of a switch.

Each company has leased one vehicle—the first lease contracts of a hydrogen-powered rotary engine equipped vehicle in the world. Delivery will take place in late March 2006.

By the end of 2006, Mazda plans to lease about 10 RX-8 Hydrogen RE cars to local government and energy companies.

The standard monthly lease price is ¥420,000 (US$3,574) with tax included (¥400,000/month (US$3,407 without tax ) which is almost half the monthly lease price of a fuel cell vehicle already available in Japan.

Employing a dual-fuel system, the Mazda RX-8 Hydrogen RE can run on either high-pressure hydrogen gas or gasoline, allowing the car to be driven in remote areas where hydrogen fueling stations are not readily available, easing driver concerns about running out of fuel.

Mazda RX-8 Hydrogen RE
  Gasoline Hydrogen
Engine RENESIS hydrogen rotary
Power 154 kW (206 hp) 80 kW (107 hp)
Torque 222 Nm 140 Nm
Fuel tank 61 liters (16 gallons US) 110 liters@35 Mpa (350 bar)
Range 549 km (341 miles) 100 km (62.1 miles)

The RENESIS Hydrogen RE incorporates an electronically controlled hydrogen gas injector system. The system draws air from the side port during the intake cycle and uses dual hydrogen injectors in each of the engine’s twin rotor housings to directly inject hydrogen into the intake chambers.

For future versions of the rotary hydrogen cars, Mazda plans to incorporate the RENESIS hydrogen rotary engine with the emerging Mazda Hybrid System and an electric-motor-assisted turbocharger to enhance efficiency as well as the driving experience.

February 15, 2006 in Engines, Hydrogen, Japan | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0)

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Comments

Electric Motor assisted turbocharger? Sound like a way to reduce/eliminate turbo lag.

Seriously rotary engine is not really an efficient engine, 9km/L really doesnt sound impressive. How far can 110 litre of H2 can go on an inline-4 engine?

Rotary not efficient? The RX-8 is a high performance sports car that gets 21 mpg. Fueling a car with hydrogen is what is not efficient.

Yeah, it's a great engine that burns a quart of oil every 4 months even when it's new.

I like how there is a manual switch. They coudn't build an intelligent switch system based on power requirements. You have to flick it yourself. Mazda probably saw every other car maker doing something fancy and decided to try its hand as well. Only the CEO provided no budget for it so the engineers got together after work in a garage and came up with this.

Well, at least Mazda and other foreign-based car companies are going for the H cell cars, unlike GM's recent completely lame ad campaign about E85 ethanol flex fuel cars. Honestly, among economists and engineers alike ethanol has been a big joke for years because of the energy input to output ratio. Also E85 reduces harmful emissions by 10% at best. Fuel cells reduce them by nearly 100%. So these cars may be rice burners, but they're far ahead of what American companies have done.

How about an on-demand 'cng,petro,diesel' fueled micro-turbine sitting on top of a capacitor/battery-pack which drives electric motor to power a 'very heavy vehicle' (eg.innercity transit bus) with an advanced regenerative braking system?

What you all are missing is the most significant technical hurdle: a simple switch to change from gas to hydrogen. The rotary's flexibility actually includes the possibility of running on jet-fuel/kerosene to diesel, to ethanol to gas and hydrogen. If you want an education read Paul Lamar's site: rotaryeng.net.

I've never driven or flown a rotary and I am sold.

dfdff

The rotary uses more oil than a piston engine because it injects the oil into the combustion chamber to lubricate the rotors.

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