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Mazda to use hydrogen rotary engine for EV range extender

Mazda Motor Corp. will use its hydrogen-fueled rotary engine technology (earlier post) as a range extender for an electric vehicle it plans to start leasing next year, according to Mazda President Takashi Yamanouchi as reported in The Nikkei.

In 2009, Mazda began commercial leasing of the Mazda Premacy Hydrogen RE Hybrid (earlier post). The Premacy Hydrogen RE Hybrid featured a series-hybrid drivetrain, which combines Mazda’s hydrogen rotary engine with an electric motor.

The automaker is due to stop producing rotary engines in June, but intends to use the technology to generate power from hydrogen and extend the continuous driving distance of EVs. Mazda, a latecomer to the EV market, plans to close the gap with Nissan Motor Co. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. by tapping its proprietary rotary engine technology.

“We should be able to make the most of the rotary engine’s advantages, such as the ease of making it compact and safe,” Yamanouchi said.



This could be an effective way to reduce the size and weight of many PHEVs.


Audi shouldn't have dropped it's rotary extended EV proto.


In 5 years there'll be FCs on the market cheaper and far more efficient than any combustion engine scenario. A hybrid comprised of FC and battery will be unbeatable for emission, economy, range and volume/weight ratio.


yeatmaon may be right but it will take much longer to get FCs price down and build an hydrogen distribution network. Using costly batteries and expensive FC in the same car may end up with a $200K unit.


@ HarveyD:
Here's a very promising review concerning latest MIT research activities that that may prove your assumptions to be somewhat conservative.


It may take decades to get low cost, gasoline, environment friendly, FCs to meet all security limitations. Meanwhile, a mini-rotary genset with more efficient plug-in modules battery packs could do the job, at least until lower cost batteries with 1000 Wh/Kg energy density become available. With on-going battery evolution, PHEVs will, for all intent ans peuposes, become BEVs and the on-board genset will become an option..


I beg to ask:

Where does the hydrogen for this "hydrogen rotary engine EV range extender" come from???

It's always a matter of chicken and egg...

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