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Mazda Starts Leasing Rotary Hydrogen Vehicles

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HIROSHIMA, Japan--Mazda Motor Corporation received permission from Japan's Ministry of Land Infrastructure and Transport (MLIT) on February 10, 2006, to begin leasing the RX-8 Hydrogen RE to its first two corporate customers. These vehicles, equipped with a rotary engine, feature a dual-fuel system that allows the driver to select either hydrogen or gasoline with the flick of a switch. Mazda has started limited leasing of the vehicles and today concluded leases with two energy-related companies, marking the first lease contracts of a hydrogen-powered rotary engine equipped vehicle in the world. Delivery of the vehicles is scheduled to take place in late March 2006.


Mazda RX-8 Hydrogen RE
Mazda RX-8 Hydrogen RE


Idemitsu Kosan Co. Ltd. and Iwatani International Corporation, both companies operating in the energy sector, have leased one vehicle each. By the end of 2006, Mazda plans to lease about 10 RX-8 Hydrogen RE cars to local government and energy companies. In 2003, Mazda exhibited a RX-8 hydrogen rotary vehicle at the Tokyo Motor Show and received permission from MLIT in October 2004 to conduct public road tests for ongoing development and practical application of this advanced technology. Mazda undertook 29 months of development from the time of announcing the concept model to achieving the breakthrough, real-world rotary hydrogen vehicle.


Employing a dual-fuel system, the Mazda RX-8 Hydrogen RE can run on either high-pressure hydrogen gas or gasoline. This combination offers excellent convenience because it can be driven in remote areas where hydrogen fueling stations are not readily available, easing driver concerns about running out of fuel. In addition, this system boasts great environmental friendliness--zero emission of carbon dioxide (CO2) gas and near zero nitrogen oxide (NOx) emission when fueled by hydrogen--together with the natural driving feel of an internal combustion engine. It uses engine parts and production facilities that already exist in Mazda's inventory, so this innovative engine can be built with a high degree of reliability at a relatively low cost. The standard monthly lease price is 420,000 yen with tax included (400,000 yen/month without tax) which is almost half the monthly lease price of a fuel cell vehicle already available in Japan.


With the RX-8 Hydrogen RE, Mazda continues to advance the possibilities of the internal combustion engine and improve the performance of hydrogen-fueled rotary engine vehicles. It represents another Mazda contribution to a more environmentally friendly hydrogen energy society of the future.


Specifications and lease price of Mazda RX-8 Hydrogen RE
Vehicle Type Mazda ABA-SE3P 'Kai' (modified model)
4.435mm / 1.770mm / 1.340mm
Wheelbase 2,700mm
Curb weight 1,460kg
Seating capacity 4 adults
Engine Class RENESIS hydrogen rotary engine
(Dual fuel system)
Type 13B
Displacement 0.654L x 2
Maximum output Hydrogen 80kW (109PS)
Gasoline 154kW (210PS)
Maximum torque Hydrogen 140Nm (14.3kgm)
Gasoline 222Nm (22.6kgm)
Fuel Type Hydrogen/gasoline switch
Fuel tank Hydrogen 110L/35Mpa (350 bar) high pressure hydrogen tank
Gasoline 61L
Performance Cruising distance
(10-15 mode)
Hydrogen 100km
Gasoline 549km
*Standard lease price
(Price without tax indicated in brackets.)
420,000 yen (400,000 yen) per month
*Monthly lease payment for the 30-month lease period.

<Reference> Mazda's hydrogen vehicle development milestones
1991 Developed the 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 test version of MX-5 equipped with hydrogen rotary engine
1995 Conducted Japan's first public road test with Capella Cargo equipped with hydrogen rotary engine
1997 Developed Demio (Mazda2) FC-EV
2001 Developed Premacy FC-EV and conducted first public road test in Japan (with methanol reformer fuel cell system)
2003 Announced Mazda RX-8 Hydrogen Rotary Engine vehicle development model
2004 Conducted the world's first public road tests of the RX-8 hydrogen rotary engine that can run on two types of fuel--hydrogen and gasoline