Suzuki exploring tech related to hydrogen-powered scooter

When it comes to “zero-emissions”, it is almost automatic that the first thing that comes to our minds is electric-powered vehicles – vehicles or motorcycles that run on electricity stored in batteries, which in turn run the electric motors.

While this technology is fast improving, unfortunately, it is not at all “zero emissions” and not as environmentally friendly as we initially thought. The batteries that run these electric vehicles often require rare earth materials that are expensive and need lots of fuel and energy to produce.

Additionally, in many countries like here in the Philippines where renewable energy sources are still in their infancy, charging these electric vehicles or motorcycles would require electricity produced by the local power grid – which still burns fossil fuel.

What is the next best option? Hydrogen.

Hydrogen is said to be the most abundant element in the universe and appears in vast quantities in water here on Earth. Hydrogen is a source of clean energy and when consumed as fuel, its only byproduct is water. This is why companies, including Suzuki, are exploring technologies related to developing clean engines that use hydrogen as fuel.

Burgman Hydrogen

Hydrogen-powered Suzuki scooters soon image

At the upcoming Japan Mobility Show 2023, happening between October 26 to November 5, Suzuki will showcase their latest technologies currently in development, including the hydrogen-powered Burgman 400 maxi scooter.

At the show, a cutaway of the test model based on commercially available Burgman 400 ABS fitted with a 70MPa (10,153 PSI) hydrogen tank and hydrogen engine will be displayed.

Suzuki will also display an information panel and test ride video of the Burgman Hydrogen, introducing the company’s initiatives for hydrogen engines.

‘Japanese Big 4’ teams up for hydrogen fuel research

Back in May of this year, Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd., Honda Motor Co., Ltd., Kawasaki Motors, Ltd., and Suzuki Motor Corporation – jointly announced that they have received approval from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (Japan) to form a technological research association called HySE (Hydrogen Small mobility & Engine technology) for developing hydrogen-powered engines for small mobility.

Each company will have its own roles in the research and development of hydrogen fuel technology. For example, Honda will be responsible for developing hydrogen-powered engines, while its functionality, reliability, and performance will be Suzuki’s responsibility. Studying the requirements for hydrogen refueling systems and hydrogen tanks for small mobility will be under Yamaha’s responsibility.

Meanwhile, developing the fuel supply system will be under Kawasaki.

Toyota and Kawasaki Heavy Industries, with their know-how on hydrogen fuel cell and engine development, will help with the research as special members of the HySE.