HIROSHIMA, Japan—Mazda Motor Corporation has announced that the company is to deliver one dual-fueled RX-8 Hydrogen Rotary Engine (RE) vehicle to Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) on August 1, 2007. The dual-fuel system enables the driver to select either gasoline or hydrogen fuel with the flick of a switch. METI will use the RX-8 Hydrogen RE in its daily operations. The delivery to METI will mark the eighth hydrogen rotary engine vehicle to be leased to government bodies and private enterprises and the first time that Japan’s central government has adopted a hydrogen vehicle for its daily operations.
Seita Kanai, Mazda’s Senior Managing Executive Officer in charge of R&D, said, “Based on Mazda’s unique hydrogen technology, we have been advancing research and development of hydrogen vehicles for over 15 years as part of our initiatives for a future hydrogen society. We are extremely pleased to be delivering this RX-8 Hydrogen RE to METI. Hydrogen rotary engines demonstrate the still untapped potential of internal combustion. Going forward, we will continue to develop vehicles for hydrogen rotary engines and improve their performance in order to contribute to the realization of an eco-friendly, hydrogen-based society.”
Mazda has been developing the hydrogen rotary engine since 1991. By burning hydrogen, the engine produces only trace amounts of carbon dioxide, one of the primary causes of global warming. Mazda conducted public road testing of the Mazda RX-8 Hydrogen RE in 2004. In February 2006, Mazda received approval from Japan’s Ministry of Land Infrastructure and Transport (MLIT) and became the first company in the world to commercially lease hydrogen powered rotary engine vehicles. The vehicles delivered to date have been showcased at public events and used in daily operations. Mazda’s RX-8 Hydrogen RE has been praised for the outstanding convenience of its dual-fuel system and for its balance between eco-friendliness and exhilarating performance that only an internal combustion engine can provide.