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Mazda and BMW Promise Hydrogen Cars by 2008

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Mazda and BMW Promise Hydrogen Cars by 2008

Date posted: 03-24-2006

DETROIT — Mazda has delivered the first two hydrogen-powered RX-8s to corporate customers in Japan, while BMW has confirmed plans to bring a hydrogen-powered 7 Series to market within two years.

Mazda showed a hydrogen-powered rotary engine in the RX-8 last fall at the Tokyo Motor Show, and the company, in fact, has been working on such engines for nearly 20 years.

The two recent test cars were leased to Idemitsu Kosan in Tokyo and Iwatani International in Osaka, both participants in the government-sanctioned Japan Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Demonstration Project. The cars feature dual-fuel delivery systems that allow the driver to select either hydrogen or gasoline by flipping a switch.

BMW executives previously had disclosed plans to develop a hydrogen version of the 7 Series. The company has been testing experimental models for the past year.

In a report carried this week by Deutsche Presse-Agentur in Germany, a BMW spokesman confirmed that a hydrogen 7 Series will be in production in the next two years and that it will be able to run on both hydrogen and gasoline "because the hydrogen infrastructure is still poor." BMW intends to build fewer than 1,000 units, the report said.

What this means to you: The hydrogen economy moves a step closer to reality.

Link: http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/News/articleId=109748

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BMW's been working on hydrogen-powered cars for atleast 25 years. But Mazda actually SOLD one this year.

The key to hydrogen is when you can build the cars for a mass market. One car is a start though.

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