Mazda recently announced it has introduced the Mazda RX-8 Hydrogen RE vehicle to Norway’s public roads in collaboration with the Hydrogen Road of Norway project, which aims to establish a clean energy transport system based on hydrogen fuel.
On-road validation is a prelude to delivery of 30 more vehicles that Mazda will lease to HyNor. This is the first time that a Mazda hydrogen rotary vehicle has been put into regular use on public roads outside of Japan.
The RX-8 Hydrogen RE is another example of Mazda’s ‘Sustainable Zoom-Zoom’ strategy of developing technologies that have less of an impact on the environment, and still provide exhilarating driving enjoyment and safety. Mazda is the only carmaker in the world to mass produce the RENESIS rotary engine. Not only does its unique architecture make it better suited to combusting hydrogen than a piston engine, it is relatively easy to convert.
The RX-8 Hydrogen RE is also dual-fuel and allows the driver to switch between petrol when need be, and hydrogen where available, making it an ideal vehicle for use now in those areas in Europe where a hydrogen infrastructure currently exists. During the validation process, the Mazda RX-8 Hydrogen RE will also be exhibited to potential customers interested in leasing a hydrogen vehicle at environmental and other events.
“Participation in the HyNor project marks our advancement to the next stage,” says Akihiro Kashiwagi, Mazda programme manager in charge of hydrogen RE development. “We are pleased to be a part of the establishment of a society based on hydrogen energy in Norway. Mazda plans to use the wealth of data and experience that will result from this project for the further development of hydrogen vehicles.”