Mazda unveils hydrogen eco-carIt will be available in Japan next year
03 October 2007
Japanese car manufacturer Mazda has unveiled a car that runs on hydrogen.
The Mazda Premacy Hydrogen RE Hybrid uses hydrogen gas to fuel a rotary engine which can switch to petrol if needed.
Hydrogen is a relatively clean fuel because it combines with oxygen and emits only clean water.
The car will be shown at the Tokyo Motor Show later this month and be available in Japan next year.
Mazda said the car is an improvement over its previous model, doubling its run on a full tank of hydrogen to 124 miles.
The hybrid system converts energy from hydrogen combustion to electricity and uses it to power the motor.
The vehicle also has a lithium-ion battery which recharges itself using energy from braking, further conserving on electricity.
The car will be available only on lease from the factory at around £1,750 a month, and aimed at government and ecological organisations.
Mazda's unusual engines
Which? Car Editor Richard Headland said: 'It's interesting to see Mazda combining emerging hydrogen technology with its existing, and unusual, rotary engines - in this respect it's treading a different path to many other car manufacturers.
‘However, it faces the same obstacles when it comes to using hydrogen - the relatively limited range on a tank of fuel and the difficulty of transporting, storing and selling hydrogen.
'Currently, hydrogen cars are a long way off being a realistic option for consumers, which is why Mazda is offering to lease these at £1,750 a month - some long-term user testing will help it refine the technology which could, in years to come, become a mainstream option.'