The Mazda Motor Corporation has announced that it is to deliver one of its dual-fueled RX-8 Hydrogen Rotary Engine (RE) vehicles to Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) at the start of August.

The dual-fuel system enables the driver to select either gasoline or hydrogen fuel with the flick of a switch and the delivery will mark the eighth hydrogen rotary engine vehicle to be leased to different government bodies and private enterprises. METI will use the RX-8 Hydrogen RE in its daily operations and it is the first time that Japan's central government has adopted a hydrogen vehicle for these activities.

Seita Kanai, Mazda's senior marketing executive officer in charge of R&D, said, $quot;Based on Mazda's unique hydrogen technology, we have been advancing research and development of hydrogen vehicles for over 15 years as part of our initiatives for a future hydrogen economy. Hydrogen rotary engines demonstrate the still untapped potential of internal combustion.$quot;

The Japanese car giant has been developing this type of engine since as early as 1991 and the new RX-8 Hydrogen RE has been praised for the outstanding convenience and balance between eco-friendliness and exhilarating performance it affords. In February 2006 the company received approval from Japan's Ministry of Land Infastructure and Transport (MLIT) and became the first company in the world to commercially lease hydrogen powered rotary engine vehicles.