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MAZDA DISPLAYS HYDROGEN-FUELED CONCEPT CAR AT 1993 GREATER LOS ANGELES AUTO SHOW

 Alternative Fuel Provides Clean Air Solution For the Future
 IRVINE, Calif., Dec. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- With today's West Coast debut of the hydrogen-powered HR-X at the Greater Los Angeles Auto Show, Mazda is demonstrating that hydrogen is a viable alternative fuel source. The water-drop-shaped HR-X will be featured at the Mazda display booth from Jan. 2-10 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
 "The HR-X is no mere show car," said Jack Stavana, director of product planning and research for Mazda R&D of North America. "It is a tangible demonstration of Mazda's commitment to fostering a greater knowledge and acceptance of hydrogen as a renewable resource and replacement for fossil fuels.
 "However, bringing about the change to a hydrogen-based economy is more than one company can undertake: it will take the cooperation and involvement of industry, government and academia to create the infrastructure needed to make it happen. We welcome the interest of other makers, other industries as well as research and government organizations."
 Hydrogen: The Ideal Fuel
 Hydrogen is considered to be an ideal fuel for the internal combustion engine because it can be made from water, an almost inexhaustible resource. When hydrogen is burned, the primary emission is water vapor. This makes hydrogen a potentially endless energy source.
 While the study of hydrogen as a fuel dates back to the early 1920s, fuel storage and unstable combustion have been two of the major challenges. Mazda addresses these hurdles with the innovative HR-X concept car.
 Metal Hydride Fuel Tank
 To solve the storage problem, the engineers at Mazda undertook a development project to produce a new metal hydride tank to store hydrogen. Metal hydride powders store the hydrogen in a metal lattice. Previously, conventional metal hydride tanks were considered safe, but their capacity tended to diminish over time. By adding magnesium to the metal hydride, Mazda was able to achieve durable and safe fuel storage.
 The metal-hydride tank in the HR-X can be refilled up to 500 times before requiring replacement. With current technology, that equates to a life expectancy rate of 60,000 miles before replacement, or 125 miles per tank-full of hydrogen. In addition, the metal- hydride can be recycled once its useful life is over.
 A Fuel in Search of an Engine
 Mazda's Technical Research Center engineering team in Japan began its research using conventional piston engines in which the hydrogen is mixed with air, drawn into the cylinder, then compressed. As a result of its highly flammable nature when combined with air, hydrogen tends to ignite prematurely because of heat from the exhaust valves or the presence of previously burned gas, causing unacceptable backfiring.
 To address this problem, Mazda's engineers worked with Mazda's unique rotary engine, which has been refined over the past 30 years. In the rotary engine, the intake and combustion processes occur in separate parts of the engine, creating a more suitable environment for proper hydrogen combustion and eliminating the backfiring problems caused by the hot exhaust valves. Few modifications were necessary to adapt the rotary engine for use with hydrogen.
 Mazda is continuing research into adapting reciprocating engines for use with hydrogen, which would ensure that the technology is available to a wider range of manufacturers.
 Active Torque Control System
 To improve acceleration and recapture energy during deceleration, Mazda developed the HR-X's Active Torque Control System, which increases torque to the vehicle's engine during acceleration through an electric motor. Under deceleration, the system uses the motor to recharge the HR-X's innovative nickel-metal hydride batteries.
 With these innovative answers to long-standing engineering challenges, Mazda has made significant strides in the advancement of hydrogen fuel as an alternative energy source. In the years ahead, Mazda hopes to be an important contributor toward providing future generations with a healthier, cleaner environment.
 -0- 12/30/92
 /CONTACT: Fred Aikins or Gerry Tschopp of Mazda Information Bureau, (U.S.) 800-248-0459 or (California) 800-346-2286/


CO: Mazda ST: California IN: AUT SU:

JB-LS -- LA013 -- 0500 12/30/92 06:01 EST
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Date:Dec 30, 1992
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