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Yamaha Motor showing concept hydrogen engine golf cart

Yamaha Golf-Car Company (YGC), a consolidated subsidiary of the Yamaha Motor Corporation that sells golf cars in the United States, developed a hydrogen-powered engine golf car concept model, the DRIVE H2. The concept model, the world’s first, is currently exhibited at the Florida-based PGA Show, one of the golf industry’s biggest events.


The model is based on Yamaha’s DRIVE2 CONCIERGE, a four-seater golf car sold mainly in the United States, but also around the world.

Hydrogen engines are internal combustion engines that can make use of existing technologies and at the same time do not emit CO2 during the combustion process. For this reason, Yamaha is also conducting research and development of this technology as it has the potential to achieve both the continued use of internal combustion engines and decarbonization.


The concept model is equipped with two high-pressure hydrogen tanks (25L each) positioned under the driver’s seat and on the back of the rear seat.

To date, Yamaha has announced several concept models equipped with hydrogen engines, including generators and ROVs and now the DRIVE H2.



I don't see the point, surely golf carts are fine with batteries as they have now.
Maybe Yamaha are using this as a way to move into h2 powered motorcycles.


Hi Jim

Just like forklifts, it all depends on how many hours you need to use the vehicle in a day.
If it is too many, then hydrogen starts coming into the picture, as you either need to fast charge, which still takes a certain amount of time, and perhaps more importantly can degrade the battery rapidly, or you have the vehicle out of action for long periods when it is needed, or as the last option you have the hassle of battery swapping plus the expence of spare batteries.

That is why in the fork lift world there is no clear winner, with the engineers specifying for a job, weighing the options according to their usage on a case by case basis.

They are usually pretty good at that sort of calculation.

In warehousework indoors the drive to both batteries and hydrogen was partly due to concerns about fumes from petrol etc, so both now being considered for out of doors golf course stuff indicates both the technologies moving on and increased empahasis on GHG.


Obviously an engineering study.
For the same price as a gasoline powered Yamaha DRIVE2 CONCIERGE four-seater golf car, you can purchase a Bintelli four person street legal lithium battery electric golf cart (around$13k). The Bintelli has a top speed of 25 mph (compared to the Yamaha’s 19 mph top speed) and a range up to 40 miles.


Forklifts, though, can cost up tp $75k, would need to lift several tons, and in addition to working all day. A much better application, particularly if you produce your own fuel.


Thanks Gryf.

I thought Yamaha might be a bit further along with the cost etc of their hydrogen tech as they together with Kawasaki and Suzuki are developing them for motorcycles:


But your correction is fair.
That sort of cost indicates that this is still protyping.
When and if they hit production, of course they will be selling for prices nothing like that, or they would not sell.


@Gryf, the irony is that vehicles like golf carts are much closer to what people need and use every day than current 250 mile EVs that weight 2 tons.
You would want windows etc. in most locations, so the Citroen AMI would be a good example.
For the odd long run, you could rent / swap / borrow a longer range vehicle (ICE or EVlarge)


Here in the US golf carts typically cover less than 10 miles on any given day and those that are actually used as golf carts are usually closer to half that. I would venture to guess that this demonstration vehicle is equipped with 50L capacity so they won’t suffer the embarrassment of having to demonstrate refueling it.



I checked your figures and you are on the money.

No technical problem with refills, as it is routine in other environments, but I can't really see any application for hydrogen Golf cars for the foreseeable future.


I was thinking “please wait while I drive to California to refuel “ wouldn’t go over well but it turns out the only hydrogen stations in FL are in the Orlando area where they are. Still it may not be legal for them to drive one of these to a station. It also would not look good to have the dispenser freeze to their vehicle or other common issues.

The large capacity tanks may make sense since they may not know what pressure a station will be able to accommodate.



Any refill station would be on site, just like for forklifts.
But it ain't happening at any foreseeable time, so it ain't worth worrying about.

Roger Pham

For combustion engine, why not use methane made from the combination of biomass with the addition of green hydrogen from solar and wind. The addition of green H2 to the biomass can double the yield of biomethane per unit of biomass. Additionally, green H2 can be mixed with the biomethane to enhance combustion speed and to further increase the fraction of green H2.

Up to 20-30% of H2 can be mixed with methane for use with existing natural gas infrastruction, so the combination of biomass and solar/wind H2 would really increase renewable energy penetration. The use of methane or methane/H2 mix would need much lower volume of fuel tank, such that only 1 tank under the front seat would be needed, allowing for luggage space in the rear.

So, the most practical development is not really an H2 economy, but an H2-enhanced biomethane economy that can use both solar/wind energy and biomass that will take advantage of existing natural gas infrastructure and existing combustion engine manufacturing assets.

Tens of millions of car and trucks around the world are already using natural for fuel, so the technology is already mature and practical. Why re-invent the wheel to develope H2-combustion engine, except for niche usage like indoor/ware house engines that cannot release carbon monoxide, and aviation that should use Liquid H2 to take advantage of the extreme lightness of LH2 that will double the payload capacity for a given BTU of fuel energy.

Roger Pham

The reason that adding green H2 to biomass can nearly double the methane yield of biomass is due to the fact that biomass contains a chain of hydrocarbons and carbohydrates with ration of Hydrogen to Carbon about 2.1 to 2.25, depending on the chain length, while methane has H to C ratio of 4 to 1. So, converting biomass to biomethane would lose nearly half of the carbon, to be emitted as CO2.

Why biomethane instead of converting biomass to longer chain hydrocarbons as motor fuel? It is because it is the easiest and cheapest way to convert biomass to methane to be combustible fuel that can be stored indefinitely and that can be transported cheaply via pipeline infrastructure that is already in existence. Methane burns much cleaner than liquid hydrocarbon that can emit soot, also known as hydrocarbon emission. The additional of H2 to the methane can further enhance the combustion cleanliness that will permit ultra-lean emission that will raise fuel efficiency another notch above existing engines.


DME is a popular green fuel in China.
I am not too up on the merits and demerits of using it instead of methanol, but it would appear to be another alternative.

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