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Mazda Promise Hydrogen Cars by 2008

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The first hydrogen-powered Mazda RX-8 (pictured) is now on the street; two are in the hands of customers in Japan. (Photo courtesy of Mazda)

DETROIT — Mazda has delivered the first two hydrogen-powered RX-8s to corporate customers in Japan.

Mazda showed a hydrogen-powered rotary engine in the RX-8 last fall at the Tokyo Motor Show, and the company, in fact, has been working on such engines for nearly 20 years.

The two recent test cars were leased to Idemitsu Kosan in Tokyo and Iwatani International in Osaka, both participants in the government-sanctioned Japan Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Demonstration Project. The cars feature dual-fuel delivery systems that allow the driver to select either hydrogen or gasoline by flipping a switch.

What this means to you: The hydrogen economy moves a step closer to reality.
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