Friday, June 20, 2008

Mazda Hydrogen Vehicle Starts Road Test

Hiroshima, June 20, 2008 (Jiji Press) - Mazda Motor Corp. <7261> on Friday started public road testing of a new hydrogen-powered minivan.

The automaker aims to begin commercial leasing of the Premacy Hydrogen RE Hybrid by the end of next March, targeting mainly government and other public offices.

The vehicle has a hydrogen rotary engine as well as an electric motor. In addition, it features a hybrid system in which energy gained from burning hydrogen is used to drive the motor.

The hybrid system allows the vehicle's hydrogen fuel range to reach 200 kilometers, double that of an existing hydrogen vehicle. When used together with gasoline, the range can be extended to 550 kilometers.

The vehicle enables the company to use existing production lines and to curb costs, an official in charge of development said, referring to an advantage at a time when automakers are racing to develop fuel-efficient, environment-friendly vehicles amid soaring oil prices.

JCN

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