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Mazda Hydrogen Rotary Now Street Legal
Submitted by Dan Mazzella on Wednesday, October 27, 2004 - 7:46am

HIROSHIMA, October 27, 2004 – Today, Japan's transport authorities gave Mazda permission to road test a hydrogen-fueled, rotary-engine version of its RX-8 sports car. This unique vehicle features a dual-fuel system that allows the driver to select hydrogen or gasoline with the flick of a switch. In what could prove a historic event, this will be the world's first "street legal" dual-fuel hydrogen rotary. Permission from Japan's Ministry of Land Infrastructure and Transport (MLIT) comes 12 months after Mazda unveiled a hydrogen/rotary concept version of the award-winning RX-8 at the 2003 Tokyo Motor Show. Mazda's near-term goal is to assess the practicality of this unique powertrain in everyday use. In the next-stage, expected within two years, test vehicles will be leased to governments and fleet users. Known as H2RE, the test vehicle will deliver good performance with no loss of interior space for four people--the high-pressure hydrogen fuel tank is mounted in the vehicle's trunk. The H2RE is powered by a modified version of Mazda's award-winning RENESIS rotary engine that features an electronically controlled hydrogen gas direct injection system on the rotor housing. RENESIS has proved ideal for burning hydrogen as the intake area of a rotary engine stays relatively cool in temperature, reducing the tendency for engine backfire--a significant challenge in conventional engines. The hydrogen/rotary combination likewise offers superior environmental performance--zero emission of CO2 and near zero NOx emissions. And because existing parts and production facilities are used, the innovative engine can be built reliably at a relatively low cost. More importantly, the hydrogen/gasoline dual fuel system will enable the H2RE to travel beyond the range of the few hydrogen filling stations now available. Mazda will continue to develop this technology for practical use and work to support the development of a hydrogen-fueled society. Major specifications of "Mazda RX-8 Hydrogen Rotary Engine Vehicle"

  • Base model: Mazda RX-8
  • Base engine: 13B Dual Fuel Hydrogen Rotary Engine
  • Length: 4.435m
  • Width: 1.770m
  • Height: 1.325m
  • Wheelbase: 2.7m
  • Weight: 1,440kg
  • Passenger capacity: Four adults
  • Fuel: Hydrogen or Gasoline
  • Fuel tank Hydrogen: 74L / 35MPa high-pressure tank
  • Gasoline: 61L
History of Mazda's hydrogen vehicle development
  • 1991 Developed first hydrogen rotary engine vehicle, HR-X
  • 1992 Test drive of golf cart equipped with fuel cell
  • 1993 Developed second hydrogen rotary engine vehicle, HR-X2, Developed MX-5 test vehicle equipped with hydrogen rotary engine
  • 1995 Conducted Japan's first public road test with Capella Cargo equipped with hydrogen rotary engine
  • 1997 Developed Demio FC-EV
  • 2001 Developed Premacy FC-EV, conducted first public road test in Japan. (Methanol Reforming)
  • 2003 Announced RX-8 hydrogen rotary engine vehicle development
  • 2004 Received MLIT approval for public road testing of the H2RE dual-fuel RX-8

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subject:
Oh yes!!!!
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 16, 2004 - 5:33pm
Glad to see these coming. Have been looking for a hybrid I could live with and as I grow up with rotory cars all my life I would love to won one as my first hybrid fueled car. Also let us know if they need to test it in the heat as we live in New Mexico USA My wife is with our state EPA office. Good luck and keep up the good work.
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subject:
no range: this is a showroom car
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 11, 2004 - 8:32am
74 liters by 35MP pressure, this is equivalent to 10 liter or 2 galons+ of gasoline ... 60 km / 40 miles range in the city.
Vehicles that will really use H2 will have much bigger tanks (even in dual H2/gasoline use) and the whole vehicle conception will be made to integrate those tanks. Forget it with the RX-8 !
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subject:
will it have the same power w
author:
No Rotor
date:
November 9, 2004 - 4:17pm
will it have the same power with hydrogen? I don´t think so!
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subject:
hydrogen rx8
author:
No Rotor
date:
November 5, 2004 - 4:16am
This is great news!! i cant wait till we all have to drive them!It just proves that the rotary is,an always has been the ultimate engine!!! Thanks again Mazda.
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subject:
H2 Rotary
author:
No Rotor
date:
November 2, 2004 - 5:00am
Having worked with hydrogen in power plants, (it's used to cool generators) my only concern is with safety.
Is there anyone addressing the problem of a H2 leak in a garage?
Pure H2 is not explosive; however, when mixed with air it is deadly.
Can someone shed some light on this potential problem?
I love Rotaries, I owned 5 of them in the 70's & early 80's, if there is a
solution to this obvious problem, pass it on.
Kudos to Mazda for sticking with a power plant alternative.
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subject:
Dangerous Gasoline
author:
No Rotor
date:
November 2, 2004 - 8:15am
Gasoline is much, much more dangerous. H2 disopates better, and will float up if it escapes. A small draft in the garage can fully remove the h2.
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subject:
Hydrogen rotary
author:
No Rotor
date:
October 28, 2004 - 5:00am
Let the future begin.............

DMRH
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subject:
Hydrogen Renesis
author:
No Rotor
date:
October 28, 2004 - 11:31pm
I think every company creating a gas/elec hybrid is about to be put on its ear. The dual-fuel is the key while h2 infrastructures build up.

Kyle Lancaster-Ca
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