Kawasaki Motors Ltd., Suzuki Motor Corporation, Honda Motor Co. and Yamaha Motor Co. have made a major announcement regarding the development of hydrogen-powered engines for small mobility. Japan’s Ministry of Economic Trade and Industry (METI) has approved the four manufacturers to set up a joint technological research association to co-develop hydrogen-powered engines for ‘small mobility’. It can be assumed that these hydrogen-friendly engines could also power the two-wheelers that we see from manufacturers in the future. The joint research program is called HySE (Hydrogen Small Mobility and Engine) technology.
The research and development for the commercialisation of engines powered by hydrogen poses certain technical challenges such as fast flame speed, unstable combustion, limited fuel tank capacity and more will be a huge challenge, especially for small vehicles. Kawasaki, Suzuki, Honda and Yamaha will come together and pool their resources and expertise to solve this problem and establish a design standard for small hydrogen-powered engines.
- Honda will take charge of research, on the model-based development of these hydrogen-powered engines. Elements of functionality, performance and reliability will be covered by Suzuki and hands-on research using real hydrogen-powered engines will come under Yamaha and Kawasaki as a joint effort.
- The study needed to identify an effective hydrogen refuelling system and the development of the hydrogen tanks in these small vehicles will come under Yamaha.
- Kawasaki will take on the responsibility of studying and developing auxiliary equipment required for fuel supply systems and tanks, the equipment installed between the fuel tank and the vehicle’s fuel injectors.