Monday, April 10, 2000

Test run of fuel cell vehicles

Mazda to participate in the joint project for the test run of fuel cell vehicles in cooperation with DaimlerChrysler Japan Holding and Nippon Mitsubishi Oil.

Mazda will participate in the joint project for the test run of fuel cell vehicles in Japan with DaimlerChrysler Japan Holding, Ltd. and Nippon Mitsubishi Oil Co., as a member of Ford group. This project is subsidized by the Agency of Natural Resources and Energy, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry.

In October 1999, DaimlerChrysler and Nippon Mitsubishi Oil started working together with a goal to promote fuel cell vehicles in Japan. This test run project is the first joint fuel cell activity in Japan which is organized by car manufacturer and fuel provider. During the test runs, the three companies plan to investigate the driving performance, fuel economy and emissions of fuel cell vehicles as well as suitable fuel choice and infrastructure. Mazda and DaimlerChrysler will bring fuel cell vehicle each, while Nippon Mitsubishi Oil is going to provide the fuel infrastructure. The test runs are scheduled for early next year in Yokohama.

Mazda has been challenging environmental and energy issues, and also making positive steps in the research and development of hybrid vehicles and battery electric vehicles. Placing the fuel cell vehicle as one of the most promising candidates among the alternative fuel vehicles, we have been also striving to develop related technologies. Mazda developed a prototype fuel cell vehicle with its original technologies in December 1997. In April 1998, Mazda joined the alliance for the development of fuel cell technology, which was established by Ford Motor Company, DaimlerChrysler and Ballard Power Systems, through its close relationship with Ford Motor Company. At the 1999 Tokyo Motor Show, we also exhibited a new prototype with the high-performance and compact fuel cell system, using the state-of-the-art technologies by the "Fuel Cell Alliance."

Mazda's product development aims to embody Mazda's brand personality. Mazda's firm commitment to the research and development for the environmental technologies, including the fuel cell vehicles, also support to establish Mazda Brand.

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