Golf carts aren’t exactly cars, but we couldn’t resist talking about the Yamaha Drive H2. It’s a concept based on the existing Drive2 Concierge 4 golf cart, but with an interesting powertrain. It’s being touted as being the world’s first golf cart to have an internal combustion engine feeding on hydrogen.

Introduced this week at the PGA Show in Orlando, Florida, the Drive H2 is equipped with a pair of high-pressure hydrogen tanks, each capable of holding 25 liters of fuel. One is located under the driver’s seat, and the other is mounted on the back of the rear seat. The idea behind this concept is to demonstrate that a conventional engine can continue to exist even as companies push toward decarbonization.

Yamaha has already built generators and recreational off-highway vehicles (ROVs) with hydrogen-burning engines that don’t emit CO2 during the combustion process. It’s a technology currently being pursued by another Japanese brand: Toyota. The automotive behemoth has built GR Yaris and GR Corolla race car prototypes that kept the turbocharged 1.6-liter gasoline engine but modified to run on hydrogen.

Earlier this month, AVL Racetech from Austria showcased a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine fueled by hydrogen. Currently in development, the four-pot hit the dyno where it made 405 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 375 pound-feet (510 Newton-meters) of torque at 4,000 rpm. It’s no wonder that Toyota believes hydrogen can save sports cars with combustion engines.

Meanwhile, Yamaha says it will continue to develop and test hydrogen combustion engines. The goal is to have them ready for a product that people will be able to buy. Until that happens, the standard Drive2 Concierge 4 golf cart will soldier on with a regular ICE and a purely electric setup. The former model uses a 357-cc, single-cylinder gas engine while the latter has a 6.7-horsepower electric motor.



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