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How do the hydrogen Mazdas work?

  • We test hydrogen-powered Mazdas
  • On Norway's Hydrogen Highway
  • Non-fuel-cell hydrogen

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These are not fuel cell cars. The hydrogen is, instead, burnt as normal within adapted versions of the internal combustion engine that powers the petrol RX-8.

The hydrogen, which has less energy by volume than petrol or diesel, is carried in large, highly pressurised tanks that rob the RX-8 and Premacy of much of their boot space.

Hydrogen releases no CO2 when it combusts, the main byproduct being water, although a tiny amount of nitrous oxides (NOx) are also released.

A fuel cell using hydrogen produces no NOx, and more energy, but Mazda has used traditional engines, since the manufacturing cost is far lower.

Click here to see a diagram of the Premacy's internal set-up.