Monday, December 31, 2007

Revolutionary Revolver: Mazda

No, it ain't a 6-gun.

Since 1991, Mazda has been working on a rotary engine that could run on hydrogen. Probably the cleanest and most abundant fuel in the world, hydrogen fuel emits only water vapor and trace amounts of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that is one of the primary causes of global warming.

As we know, that last clause is pure BS. Pressing on, however:

The RX-8, in fact, is the only commercially available car with a rotary engine in the world and is now the first hydrogen fueled. It will also run on gasoline.

Mazda began public road testing of the RX-8 Hydrogen RE in 2004. In February 2006, it received approval from Japan's Ministry of Land Infrastructure and Transport (MLIT) to become the first company to commercially lease hydrogen powered rotary engine vehicles.

The vehicles delivered have been showcased at public events, of course, and used in daily driving. From the latter, the RX-8 Hydrogen RE has been recognized for the convenience of its dual-fuel system as well as for its balance of eco-friendliness and internal-combustion performance.

The driver can go from gasoline to hydrogen at the flick of a switch.

I had a rotary-Mazda, back in the '70's. Damn quick.

HT: McMahon

1 comment:

Marcus Aurelius said...

This of course invites a couple of questions.

**From where do we get the hydrogen? AFAIK, the answer is to take water and split off the hydrogen from the oxygen which of course requires energy.

**How do we safely store enough of it at fuel stations and on the car itself to make it economically feasible?
I don't want to be having to fuel up every 50 or so miles, at least the vehicle is a flex fuel vehicle making regular old gasoline a possibility when one can not find the hydrogen station.

I am not dismissing the development it takes more than engineering a car to run on a given fuel.