Japanese automaker Suzuki Motor started testing hydrogen fuel cell motorcycles on roads and hopes to commercialize hydrogen fuel cell motorcycles.
2/27/16 4:00 am chumakdenis 1
Not so long time ago Toyota Mirai was the only vehicle that was running on hydrogen and at that time it seemed as if no one was interested in this technology except Toyota Motors.
Nonetheless, things changed a lot in recent times and demand on hydrogen fuel cell vehicles rocketed.
The competition is big and it’s bound to be even bigger and fiercer.
That’s no brainer.
But what if there is a less thorny path?
I mean, some niches are still free – yes, there are some – and in there the only thing that you need to do in order to win the battle is to be the first.
Yes, no competition means monopoly.
And it terms of sales figures it’s a real blessing.
That’s why Suzuki Motor Corporation has already started testing hydrogen fuel cell motorcycles on roads and hopes to patent its technologies before safety and environmental standards for fuel cell bikes will take effect.
Japan's transport ministry is expected to write safety and environmental standards for fuel cell bikes as early as January; they would be the world's first such regulations. Once approved, Suzuki will begin test-driving the cycle on public roads.
Kind of a cool idea of them, isn’t it?
Let’s learn more.
As of now, Suzuki is working on both an electric motorcycle and a hydrogen fuel cell powered dirt bike.
Referring to fuel cell bike, it will be built on Suzuki Recursion platform and will have a range of at least 100 miles (we guess real numbers will be much bigger).
Also, there are some rumors that say that Suzuki’s hydrogen-powered dirt bike will be a hybrid, but we don’t know if it will be so – these are just rumors, nothing more.
Other Suzuki’s fuel cell vehicles
This isn’t the first patent registered by Suzuki for a fuel cell powered bike.
As far back as 2007, Suzuki showed off their hydrogen powered concept called the Crosscage. Then, in 2010 Suzuki has actually produced a hydrogen powered Burgman for real world testing.
The patent diagrams indicate that the fuel cell, motor and hydrogen tank are exactly the same as the Burgman proof of concept scooter. The configuration is slightly different with the hydrogen tank mounted vertically instead of horizontally and the electric motor beneath it.
The hydrogen powered Suzuki Burgman concept was good for an impressive 200 miles(321 kilometers) and could be refueled in five minutes – all without a drastic increase in weight from a conventional scooter.
The more recent patent filing pertains to a battery-powered electric motorcycle that appears to be Honda Grom like in size. The patent details are fairly innocuous in that and there are no really radical new ideas here, but a small sized electric bike sounds like a great way to introduce a battery-powered machine to the mass market.
Again, this isn’t a first for Suzuki.
The patent images seem to be very closely related to their Extrigger concept from late 2013.
The Extrigger’s electric drivetrain was actually borrowed from the earlier Suzuki e-Let electric scooter.
So, if Suzuki is filing updated patents on a nearly two-year-old concept, does that mean the Extrigger concept is going into production?
Given the popularity of the Honda Grom, we can only hope so.
While Toyota's Mirai has already hit roads around the world, safety, and other standards have yet to catch up. The Japanese transport ministry will set terms for safety concerns specific to fuel cell motorcycles, such as requiring makers to design the bikes so that their hydrogen tanks are protected, even in accidents. Suzuki plans to commercialize its motorcycle once it receives ministry approval.
Well, let’s wish Suzuki good luck with that and hope that Suzuki’s hydrogen fuel cell motorcycles will be good as hell.