Japan ' s ' Big Four ' exploring hydrogen engines By Ben Purvis
Japan ' s ' Big Four ' are considering working together to work on hydrogen-fuelled combustion engines , which promise to be carbon-neutral and nearly emissions-free while retaining the feel , performance characteristics and sound that we ' re familiar with . Initially Yamaha and Kawasaki hope to work together on hydrogen engine development , with Honda and Suzuki expected to join the effort at a later date . Kawasaki showed its first step towards a hydrogen motorcycle engine last year , revealing a direct fuel-injected version of the supercharged H2 fourcylinder . While that prototype currently runs on petrol , not hydrogen , the development of direct injection tech is vital in the pursuit of making hydrogen engines work . If mixed with air before entering the cylinder , the volume of hydrogen would take up too much space , even though the ideal stoichiometric ratio is around 34:1 - far lower than for petrol engines . That would leave less space for air in the cylinder , reducing power by around 15 % compared to petrol . In contrast , using direct-injected hydrogen raises power compared to a petrol engine by
about the same percentage . What ' s more , most hydrogen combustion engine prototypes are designed to use far more air than necessary for combustion , effectively running extremely lean , to reduce NOx emissions . To achieve that , forced induction is required , hence
Kawasaki ' s decision to base its project on the supercharged H2 motor . We ' ve yet to see the result of the Yamaha-Kawasaki cooperation , but Yamaha has revealed its own hydrogen-powered combustion engine in the form of a V8 that it ' s developing on behalf of Toyota . This five-litre monster is based on an existing Toyota unit . With 450 hp and
540 Nm of torque , its performance is roughly on a par with the stock Toyota petrol version . " We are working toward achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 ," said Yamaha Motor president Yoshihiro Hidaka . " At the same time , ' Motor ' is in our company name , and we accordingly have a strong passion for and level of commitment to the internal combustion engine ." Although the deal to develop hydrogen motorcycle engines with Kawasaki has yet to be completed , Yamaha ' s announcement says : " Kawasaki and Yamaha Motor have started considerations toward the joint development of a hydrogen engine for possible use in two-wheeled vehicles ". What ' s more , they plan to add Honda and Suzuki to the arrangement later on , saying : " The four companies intend to jointly explore the possibility of achieving carbon neutrality through the use of internal combustion engines in two-wheeled vehicles . To maintain a distinct line between cooperation and competition , they intend to proceed after establishing a framework that will clearly define areas of cooperation and collaborative research ".
APR / MAY ’ 22 ISSUE # 166
THE BRADLEY REPORT
NCCR Rotax / Buell ' Helicon ' SuperSingle
Work carries on in Ukraine !
3D printed steel frame
NEws ROOM 6-33 , 64 MOTOFUTURE 18-22 INDEX 62