Tuesday, February 13, 2001

Mazda Premacy FC-EV

Mazda has developed the "Premacy FC-EV," a new fuel cell electric prototype vehicle based on the Mazda Premacy. Mazda, which has received the permission of the Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, will begin test runs of the vehicle on public roads for the first time in Japan on February 15.

Mazda Premacy FC-EV

Mazda Premacy FC-EV

The five-seat Premacy FC-EV is powered by a methanol reformer fuel cell system and electric motor. The components, including fuel cell stacks and reformer unit, have been miniaturized to be mounted under the floor. Through this effort, Mazda successfully realized a space for five adults without major structural modifications of the base model. Mazda will investigate the potential of using a methanol reformer fuel cell system with this prototype.

five-seat Mazda Premacy FC-EV

five-seat Mazda Premacy FC-EV

With the license plate issued by the Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, Mazda can now operate the Premacy FC-EV on public roads for the first time in Japan as the fuel cell vehicles. Using the Premacy FC-EV, Mazda will participate in the joint project for the test run of fuel cell vehicles, with DaimlerChrysler Japan Holding, Ltd. and Nippon Mitsubishi Oil Co. This project is subsidized by the Pertroleum Energy Center, the Agency of Natural Resources and Energy, and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

fuel cell electric prototype vehicle Mazda Premacy

new fuel cell electric prototype vehicle Mazda Premacy

During the test runs, the three companies plan to investigate the driving performance, fuel economy and emissions of the fuel cell vehicles. Nippon Mitsubishi Oil is providing the fuel infrastructure. The test runs will be conducted on public roads and facilities around Yokohama City, Kanagawa prefecture.

Mazda began its study of fuel cell technology in 1991, identifying it as one of the most promising candidates among the alternative fuel sources. Mazda fabricated its first fuel cell vehicle composed of a cart-type chassis and PEFC (Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell) supplied by Ballard Power Systems, in early 1992.

In November 1997, Mazda developed a high-performance fuel cell system for hydrogen fuel and built a prototype vehicle, Demio FC-EV. This vehicle was tested on the premises of Mazda Hiroshima Headquarters in December 1997. In October 1999, Mazda developed the second generation Demio FC-EV, which incorporates the fuel cell system developed by the fuel cell alliance mentioned below. Through these projects, Mazda has accumulated vital knowledge to bring to the Premacy FC-EV vehicle project.

Mazda has been working with Ford Motor Company on research and development of the FC-EV. In April 1998, through its close relationship with Ford, Mazda began participating in the fuel cell alliance established by Ford Motor Company, DaimlerChrysler and Ballard Power Systems. The Premacy FC-EV has been developed in cooperation with Ford's TH!NK group (*).

(*) TH!NK is a brand of Ford Motor Company which concentrates on R&D, production and sales of alternative fuel vehicles. TH!NK also participates in the fuel cell alliance on behalf of Ford.

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