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Late last month, Mazda delivered the first of 30 European-spec RX-8 Hydrogen RE cars. At a ceremony in the Norwegian capital of Oslo this week, the vehicles were accepted by Norwegian crown prince Haakon at the opening of one of two new hydrogen fueling stations in Oslo. These stations are part of a new hydrogen fueling infrastructure that Norway is building out along the route between Oslo on the eastern coast and Stavanger on the western North Sea coast.

Also on hand for the event was Norwegian Minister of Transportation, Ms. Liv Signe Navarsete, who drove off in the new RX-8 after the crown prince fueled it up for the first time. Being a dual-fuel car, the Hydrogen RE is capable of running on either hydrogen or gasoline. Besides the switch from right to left hand drive, the European version of the RX-8 also gets a manual transmission in place of the automatic in the Japanese version. Mazda plans to deliver the remaining cars beginning this summer.

[Source: Mazda]


Mazda unveils first Norwegian-specification RX-8 Hydrogen RE at Oslo Ceremony

Norway's Crown Prince attends historic event to open two new hydrogen filling stations on the Oslo-Stavanger route.
Norway's Minister of Transportation drives new Mazda RX-8 Hydrogen RE vehicle.
More RX-8 Hydrogen RE facelift vehicles will be delivered for leasing in Norway beginning this summer.

Leverkusen, 11 May 2009. Another environmentally focused solution from Mazda – a Norwegian-specification RX-8 Hydrogen RE – was unveiled today at an historic event in Oslo. The vehicle was unveiled as part of a ceremony celebrating the opening of the latest HyNor hydrogen filling stations. With this opening, Norway's national hydrogen project has taken a major step towards creating an extended hydrogen infrastructure along the 580 km Oslo to Stavanger route.

On hand at the ceremony were the Norwegian Crown Prince and the Norwegian Minister of Transportation, Ms. Liv Signe Navarsete. After the Crown Prince refuelled the car, Ms Navarsete drove the Mazda rotary-engine sports coupe from Oslo to the Drammen station on zero-emission hydrogen. After delivery of this first facelifted version of the RX-8 Hydrogen RE, Mazda will provide more Norwegian-spec vehicles to the HyNor project under commercial lease contracts beginning this summer.

Mazda also leases this environmental, four-seat sports coupe in Japan, but for the HyNor project it has been developed to meet Norwegian and European specifications with left hand drive and a manual transmission. The product of 18 years of Mazda hydrogen fuel research and development, it uses a dual-fuel rotary engine that allows you to switch between using hydrogen or petrol in areas with no hydrogen infrastructure.

This latest unveiling is just one of Mazda's environmentally-friendly technologies to be introduced as part of its 'Sustainable Zoom-Zoom' strategy; and includes such innovative products as next-generation clean diesel engines, and a fuel-saving idle-stop system called i-STOP.

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