The Iwatani Corporation in Tokyo, Japan has decided to unveil its new hydrogen hybrid bike. The bicycle uses H2 cartridges plus a lithium ion hybrid system to extend the range of the bike. The range of this hydrogen fuel cell bike is around 45 miles before a new cartridge has to be inserted behind the seat. After this 45 mile range is reached, then the battery pack is used to extend the range a bit more.
As most bicyclists travel less than 45 miles in a day, being stranded shouldn’t be a problem especially if they carry an extra hydrogen cartridge (also made by Iwatani) onboard the vehicle. In addition, this vehicle is a traditional bicycle as can be pedaled as desired.
The hydrogen bike weighs about 31 kg and provides zero emissions while on the road. I’ve talked about other hydrogen bikes several times in the past, but this may be the first one that is part of a larger plan.
You see, Iwatani is no stranger to hydrogen. On July 7, 2009 the corporation opened a 3,000 l/h liquid hydrogen production plant in Ichihara, Chiba, Japan. The liquid hydrogen production plant uses “waste hydrogen” from another industrial plant next door and believes that liquid hydrogen will solve the transportation and distribution problem in Japan.
On May 26, 2009 the Iwatani Corporation decided to replace an older Mazda RX-8 Hydrogen RE rotary car with a new Mazda Premacy Hydrogen RE Hybrid SUV. Iwatani is supporting Japan’s push towards rolling out more hydrogen vehicles and infrastructure across the country.
I’ve talked several times about the Japanese Hydrogen Highway System and how Japan intends to extend this system across the entire country by 2015. By introducing the hydrogen bike, liquid hydrogen production plant and driving the Mazda hydrogen vehicles, the Iwatani Corporation is doing it’s part to promote and profit from the upcoming hydrogen revolution in Japan.