The Car Geek: Mazda Expands Its Hydrogen RX-8

The Car Geek

Friday, March 16, 2007

Mazda Expands Its Hydrogen RX-8

The Mazda Motor Corporation is on the seventh version of its test hydrogen flex-fuel RX-8 and has recently announced that it has delivered its one dual-fueled RX-8 Hydrogen RE vehicle which runs on either gasoline or hydrogen. It aims for garnering world data on cars that can run on either hydrogen or gasoline. The automaker is determined to prove that rotary engines are best suited for use of hydrogen as an alternative fuel.

The Mazda RX-8 has a rotary fuel engine with a dual-system that allows the driver to select either gasoline or hydrogen fuel with just a press of the switch. The vehicle was turned over to Japan Automobile Research Institute (JARI) for testing.

Vehicles made by other automakers utilize piston-driven power plants for hydrogen application. Unlike them, Mazda stands out with its produced rotary engines. The rotary engine’s compact size and the use of separate air intake and combustion compartments make it better suited for hydrogen fuel.

Revving up a 107-horsepower flex-fuel RX-8, it can run through 62 miles on hydrogen and cover 340 miles on 16 gallons of gas. The latest version of the flex-fuel RX-8 Hydrogen RE will be used to create plans for international hydrogen standards, establish examination and evaluation techniques and provide safety hydrogen development regulations as well. The hydrogen supply will mainly come from JARI’s own hydrogen station at their facility in Tsukaba City, Japan.

True to its goal, Mazda is independently working on developing hydrogen cars with rotary engines as part of its efforts to promote an environmentally friendly urban living.