Mazda's 15-year quest for hydrogen vehicles
Mazda introduced their first hydrogen prototype in 1991 at the Tokyo Motor Show. This vehicle, called the HR-X, was powered by a hydrogen-powered rotary engine. Mazda is still working on putting rotary engines into cars, but is also working, like other automakers, on hydrogen fuel cells. The company's latest hydrogen prototype, the RX-8 Hydrogen RE concept car, was presented at the 2003 Tokyo Motor Show. The RX-8 Hydrogen RE is currently being leased (and is not affected by the recent RX-8 recall) to companies and local governments in Japan for 420,000 yen a month (about 3,600 US$ or 2,860 Euros). Mazda, like Ford, believes using hydrogen internal combustion engines are the right next step before we get to hydrogen fuel cells. Mazda says it considers hydrogen well-suited for rotary engines, and the company's long experience with rotary engines means it will lead the pack in introducing hydrogen engines to the market.
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