Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. (YMC) announces that it has received license plates for its recently developed direct methanol type fuel cell motorcycle and commenced with tests on public roads from September 13, 2004, with sights on eventual release for practical use.
YMC's plans call for this road testing to continue under a variety of condition until December 31, 2005, during which time a range of surveys and verification tests will be conducted and data gathered on environmental performance.
It was over 20 years ago that YMC first began research and development aimed at the practical application of the much talked about fuel cell system as an efficient power source for vehicles with a high energy conversion rate. The usual fuel for fuel cells is hydrogen gas, but it has proved very difficult to build compact systems using hydrogen gas as fuel.
The fuel cell vehicle "FC06 Proto" that YMC has now begun road testing adopts what is called the "Yamaha DMFC (direct methanol fuel cell) System." Developed exclusively by Yamaha, this direct methanol type fuel cell system eliminates the need for the converter unit required by a hydrogen-run fuel cell by using liquid methanol diluted in water as its fuel.
This "Yamaha DMFC System" has the advantage of being able to be made into a compact power source that maintains its power output performance when used for smaller machines that require an electrical output of less than one kilowatt. The newly developed motorcycle has been designed to accommodate these characteristics.
YMC believes that the spread of small personal vehicles is in itself something that contributes to society as a whole by decreasing environmental impact, and has released on the market personal size vehicles like its PAS electro-hybrid bicycles and Passol electric commuter that mount "smart power" units that run on clean energy sources.
YMC announced its “Yamaha Fuel Cell System” in July 2003, and then displayed the fuel cell motorcycle "FC06" as a special exhibition model at last year's 37th Tokyo Motor Show. The start of public road testing of this fuel cell motorcycle is a project that falls under the "New Power Source Strategy" of the "Growth Strategy Promotion" of our "Next 50" plan.
Road testing Yamaha's fuel cell motorcycle.