Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha form group to develop hydrogen-powered engines for small mobility

Kawasaki Motors, Suzuki Motor Corporation, Honda Motor Company and Yamaha Motor Company have received approval from Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry to form a technological research association called HySE (Hydrogen Small mobility & Engine technology) for developing hydrogen-powered engines for small mobility – construction equipment, motorcycles, Japan-originated small vehicles, small marine vessels and more.

In a press release, the group jointly stated:

“To realize a decarbonized society, a multi-pathway strategy to address various issues in the mobility sector is necessary, rather than focusing on a single energy source. Against this backdrop, research and development targeted at commercialization of mobility with engines powered by hydrogen – deemed a next-generation energy source – is gaining momentum.

“However, the use of hydrogen poses technical challenges, including fast flame speed and a large region of ignition, which often result in unstable combustion, and the limited fuel tank capacity in case of use in small mobility vehicles. In addressing these issues, the members of HySE are committed to conducting fundamental research, capitalizing on their wealth of expertise and technologies in developing gasoline-powered engines, and aim to work together with the joint mission of establishing a design standard for small mobility’s hydrogen-powered engine, and of advancing the fundamental research endeavors in this area.

“The members of HySE will continue to deepen their collaborative relations in order to provide a variety of small mobility options to users and meet their diverse needs, thereby contributing to the realization of a decarbonized society.”

The main research and development areas (with the role of each company) will include:

Research on hydrogen-powered engines

  • Research on the model-based development of hydrogen-powered engines – Honda
  • Element study on functionality, performance and reliability of the hydrogen-powered engines – Suzuki
  • Hands-on research using real hydrogen-powered engines on their functionality, performance and reliability – Yamaha, Kawasaki

Study on hydrogen refueling system

  • Studying the requirements for a hydrogen refueling system and hydrogen tanks for small mobility – Yamaha

Study on fuel supply system

  • Studying the auxiliary equipment required for a fuel supply system and tanks, and the equipment installed between the fuel tank and the injector – Kawasaki

In addition to the aforementioned full members, Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Toyota Motor Corporation will support the association as special members.

Kawasaki Heavy Industries, one of the main organizers of the “CO2-free Hydrogen Energy Supply-chain Technology Research Association” (HySTRA), will drive forward HySE’s activities, based on the knowledge gained from its activities for HySTRA. Toyota, meanwhile, will assume the role of leveraging HySE’s research results to the maximum benefit for the development of hydrogen-powered engines, utilizing its know-how on experiments, analyses and the designing of large hydrogen-fueled power units for four-wheel vehicles, the organization reports.

“We are extremely pleased to announce the planned formation of the association,” says Kenji Komatsu, chairman nominee of HySE and executive officer of technical research & development center, Yamaha Motor Co. “There are many challenges in the development of hydrogen-powered engines, but we hope to see the association’s activities advance the fundamental research in order to meet those challenges. We are committed to this endeavor with a sense of mission to preserve the use of internal combustion engines, which epitomize the long-time efforts that our predecessors have invested.”


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