Hiroshima, Japan – Mazda has introduced the RX-8 Hydrogen RE (Rotary Engine) to Norway, in collaboration with HyNor, the Norwegian national hydrogen project. Initially, the RX-8 Hydrogen RE’s driving performance in Norway will be validated with a single vehicle, which will also be shown at various events. It is the first time that a Mazda hydrogen rotary vehicle has been put into regular use on public roads outside of Japan.
Mazda signed a memorandum of understanding with HyNor in November 2007 to participate in the program. HyNor (Hydrogen Road of Norway) is a national project that aims to establish a clean energy transport system based on hydrogen fuel. Beginning in 2009, Mazda will provide approximately 30 RX-8 Hydrogen RE vehicles for the HyNor project under commercial lease contracts. The single vehicle is being delivered in advance so that the two parties can jointly assess its driving performance in Norway.
“Up to now, real world use of Mazda’s hydrogen rotary vehicles has been limited to Japan,” said Akihiro Kashiwagi, Mazda program manager in charge of hydrogen RE development. “Participation in the HyNor project marks our advancement to the next stage. After we validate the first vehicle on Norwegian roads, we intend to deliver 30 more units under commercial lease contracts. 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.”
HyNor is a unique Norwegian initiative to demonstrate the implementation of a hydrogen energy infrastructure along a 580-km route from Oslo to Stavanger. Hydrogen filling stations are being established along this transport corridor. The initiative is intended to encompass buses, taxis and private cars, and varying types of transport systems including urban, inter-city, regional and long-distance.