Mazda to develop hydrogen vehicles in Norway

Mazda and HyNor (Hydrogen Road of Norway) are to collaborate in the development of hydrogen fuel and hydrogen vehicles, with the aim of moving towards a hydrogen economy.

HyNor will purchase 30 Mazda RX-8 Hydrogen RE vehicles commencing in the summer 2008. These will be the first hydrogen vehicles sold by Mazda outside Japan.

HyNor is a unique Norwegian joint industry initiative to demonstrate real life implementation of a hydrogen energy infrastructure along a route of 580 kilometres from Oslo to Stavanger in Norway.

The project comprises all steps required to develop a Hydrogen society adapted to local conditions. The joint project is planning for various means of transport – buses, taxis and private cars – and varying types of transport systems: urban, inter-city, regional and even long-distance national transport.

In August 2006, Mazda attended a ceremony which commemorated the opening of Norway’s first hydrogen filling station created by HyNor. This was also the occasion of the first on-road demonstration of a Mazda RX-8 Hydrogen RE vehicle outside Japan.

The chairman of HyNor, Ulf Hafseld, commented: “HyNor is very pleased to sign this agreement with Mazda and we think this cooperation will speed up the process of introducing hydrogen as a zero-emission fuel. By using the internal combustion engine as a feasible technology to accelerate realisation of the real hydrogen world, we can develop a hydrogen infrastructure much faster. HyNor is focusing on a carbon neutral infrastructure, and using hydrogen in the Mazda cars will ensure a complete carbon free line of fuel.”

Mr Seita Kanai, Mazda’s director and senior managing executive officer in charge of Research and Development, stated: “This will be the first time a Hydrogen RE vehicle will be sold outside Japan and will be a big step in Mazda’s hydrogen vehicle development history. Perhaps Norway is one of the countries closest to the realisation of a hydrogen energy society. By cooperating with HyNor and jointly supporting the development of a hydrogen economy, we hope that Mazda will be able to contribute to the establishment of a Hydrogen society.”