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March 23, 2006

Delivery Ceremony Held for World’s First Hydrogen Rotary Engine Vehicle at One of Nation’s Largest New LH & Air Separation Gas Manufacturing Plants Operation in Osaka Block Discussed with the Prospect of Participation in National Project

Iwatani International Corporation

Iwatani International Corporation (headquarters: Osaka & Tokyo, President: Akiji Makino, capital: 20,000 million yen) concluded an agreement with Mazda Motor Corporation on February 10 for the lease purchase of one RX-8 Hydrogen RE sports vehicle equipped with a hydrogen rotary engine. A delivery ceremony was held today at Hydro Edge Co., Ltd., an Iwatani International group company located in Sakai, Osaka Prefecture.
 
 
The RX-8 Hydrogen RE is a hydrogen powered vehicle using clean hydrogen fuel for internal combustion. Mazda is the only manufacturer to commercialize this type of vehicle in Japan. *1. Iwatani is the first corporate customer for this model. The RX-8 Hydrogen RE uses a dual fuel system *2 that allows the driver to select either high pressure hydrogen or gasoline. The cruising distance in 10・15 mode is 100km with hydrogen, and 549km with gasoline. The charge for lease of the vehicle is 420 thousand yen/month (including consumption tax).
The Iwatani Group is the nation’s leading hydrogen manufacturer with over 60 years experience in handling hydrogen, and 14 hydrogen production bases in Japan. We have delivered hydrogen stations to major auto manufacturers including Toyota and Honda since the early phase of the development of fuel cell vehicles, as part of applications of hydrogen to vehicle transportation.
We have also maintained close ties with Mazda, the world’s only car maker to develop hydrogen driven vehicles with rotary engines, by supplying hydrogen, and constructing a hydrogen station at the Mazda headquarters in Hiroshima.
At the same time, we have taken part in a national project to promote hydrogen fueled vehicles such as fuel cell vehicles in our capacity as an infrastructure builder, building three hydrogen stations including the Ariake station during this period.
We had previously purchased two fuel cell vehicles: a HONDA FCX (in July 2003) and Toyota FCHV (in August 2003). These vehicles were updated last year to certified new FCX and FCHV models.
The addition of Mazda’s RX-8 Hydrogen RE hydrogen engine vehicle delivered today brings the total to three hydrogen fueled vehicles.
The RX-8 Hydrogen RE is to be deployed temporarily in Hiroshima for about six months, and then, when we participate in the planned experimental operation of a hydrogen station at Kansai International Airport as one of the demonstration projects in the Osaka area (provisionally known as the Hydrogen Energy Society Demonstration Project) forming part of a national project to encourage hydrogen use scheduled to be launched next fiscal year, the RX-8 Hydrogen RE will be used for a demonstration run at the airport. Use of hydrogen energy and hydrogen fueled vehicles at the airport is the first trial in this kind in Japan, and we hope it will provide a model for environmentally friendly airport operations.
Our affiliate, Hydro Edge Co., Ltd., where the delivery ceremony was held today, is scheduled to start commercial operation of the nation’s largest LH production plant (3,000L/h x 2) on April 1 next year. Iwatani will continue to concentrate on reducing manufacturing costs and setting up the supply infrastructure required for the realization of a world powered by hydrogen energy.
*1 Hydrogen fueled vehicles which use hydrogen fuel for internal combustion have been developed by Mazda and BMW. Eco-cars are produced in a different approach from fuel cell vehicles, in that electricity is produced by utilizing the chemical reaction of hydrogen, and used for driving the motor to obtain driving force. Mazda is the only auto manufacturer in the world to use rotary hydrogen engines.
*2 A system that allows the driver to switch between hydrogen and gasoline driving with a change-over switch installed at the driver’s seat.
 
■Major specifications of the Mazda RX-8 Hydrogen RE
Vehicle Type Mazda LA-SE3P remodel
  L/W/H 4.435mm/1.770mm/1.340mm
  Wheel base 2,700mm
  Weight 1,460kg
  Number of seats 4
Engine Type RENESIS hydrogen rotary engine
(Dual fuel system)
  Type 13B
  Total emission 0.654L×2
  Rating Hydrogen 80kW (109PS)
Gasoline 154kW (210PS)
  Max. torque Hydrogen 140N・m (14.3kg・m)
Gasoline 222N・m (22.6kg・m)
Fuel Type Hydrogen/gasoline switching
  Fuel tank Hydrogen 110L / 35MPa (350psi) High pressure hydrogen gas tank
Gasoline 61L
Performance Cruising distance (10・15 mode) Hydrogen 100km
Gasoline 549km
Lease   420 thousand yen/month (including consumption tax, lease for 30 months)