Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Honda—the big four of Japan—have received a green signal from the ministry to form a technical research group.
Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Honda—the big four of Japan—have received a green signal from the ministry to form a technical research group named Hydrogen Small Mobility and Engine Technology (HySE). According to Crash.net, the objective of this new group is to focus on smaller hydrogen-powered engines for small mobility vehicles.
In recent times, electric power has been deemed the future of mobility and MotoGP. However, many people are concerned about the heavy weight and limited range of battery-powered vehicles.
Regarding decarbonization, the group warned, “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,” as quoted by Crash.net.
“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,” the group added.
The HySE group will focus on technical challenges that include “fast flame speed and a large region of ignition, which often result in unstable combustion” and “limited fuel tank capacity in the case of use in small mobility vehicles”.
Roles of the Big Four
To create smaller hydrogen-powered engines, the research team has divided them into three different categories. In the first part, the four companies are to conduct research on hydrogen-powered engines, whereas in the second part, they are to study the refuelling system of hydrogen-powered engines.
In the final stage, only Kawasaki has been bestowed with the responsibility to study the fuel supply system of the engines.
Kenji Komatsu, Yamaha Motor Co. Ltd.’s Executive Officer of Technical Research & Development Center who is also the Chairman nominee of HySE, said, “We are extremely pleased to announce the planned formation of the association. 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.”
Apart from the Big Four motorcycle manufacturers, Toyota Motor Corporation and Kawasaki Heavy Industries will also play supporting roles in this new venture.