Japanese motorcycle makers to jointly develop hydrogen engine

Four Japanese motorcycle manufacturers are teaming up to develop a hydrogen-powered engine that could help cut carbon emissions and contribute to Japan's goal of carbon neutrality.

Honda Motor, Yamaha Motor, Suzuki Motor and Kawasaki Motors unveiled a plan to jointly set up a body as early as this month to research and develop hydrogen engines for motorcycles.

Each company will work on a different research area. They hope to apply their findings to mini-vehicles and drones as well.

Honda says "the use of hydrogen poses technical challenges, including fast flame speed and a large region of ignition, which often result in unstable combustion" and "limited fuel tank capacity in case of use in small mobility vehicles."

The four companies have already worked together on other carbon-neutrality projects, such as providing a service for sharing replaceable batteries for electric motorcycles.

Yamaha President Hidaka Yoshihiro told reporters there needs to be a wide range of technological potential to achieve carbon neutrality, and hydrogen is one focus of attention.

Hydrogen-powered engines are already being tested in automobiles. Toyota Motor has installed one in a racing car.