Mazda Motor Joins DaimlerChrysler and Nippon Mitsubishi Oil in Government Project

April 16, 2000 by Jeff Shepard

Mazda Motor Corp. (Tokyo, Japan) has joined DaimlerChrysler AG (Germany) and Nippon Mitsubishi Oil in a government-led project to test fuels for next-generation fuel cell vehicles. Mazda and DaimlerChrysler will each contribute fuel cell vehicles, while Nippon will contribute hydrogen, methanol fuel and test tracks for the three-year project. The purpose of the project is to decide which fuels are most appropriate for use in Japan.

Mazda currenty has a prototype model, called the Demio FC-EV fuel cell vehicle, powered by methanol. DaimlerChrysler has a similar experimental fuel cell version of its Mercedes Benz A-Class, which is also powered by methanol.

Japan's Trade Ministry will contribute about two-thirds of the $3.77 million to the $4.71 million required to test fuel-cell-powered vehicles. The companies will collect data on mileage and emissions for cars that run on each type of fuel. The first experimental product should be tested sometime by early 2001.