Developing safety standards for fuel-cell motorcycles (reference image)

MLIT formulates basic safety standards for world’s first fuel-cell motorcycle

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism (MLIT) presented their formulated safety standards for the world’s first fuel-cell motorcycle.

Ever since Japanese automakers focused on the development of fuel-cell motorcycles, MLIT has started intensifying the high-pressure gas fuel equipment for motorcycles as fuel made from compressed hydrogen gas. Through this implementation, they will join forces in enhancing the global competitiveness of Japanese motorcycle manufacturers by popularizing fuel-cell motorcycles.

This time, they revised the notifications that establish details about standard security of road transport vehicles. And as for fuel-cell motorcycles, they also formulated safety standards for the enhancement, construction, and mounting process of high-pressure gas fuel equipment, which includes requirements for motorcycles.

Specifically, this is related to the gas container and container accessory parts (container safety valve) for hydrogen gases that are used as fuels in motorcycles and sidecar motorcycles. They oblige to include technical requirements that provide safety for the containers, such as avoiding direct contact of other parts that jeopardize safety when gas containers encounter collisions.

Upon the hydrogen release during the operation of container safety valves, the releasing direction should be designated at the bottom-vertical direction from the vehicle in order to have a specific hydrogen release direction. They will also set the basis for the hydrogen vapor eliminated from the vehicle.

Furthermore, if the hydrogen content in the interior part exceeds 3%, the driver should be warned about it, and when it exceeds 4%, the the driver would be obliged to isolate the fuel supply.

The announcement and implementation will be conducted on February 23, 2016, and the continuation of the production of new vehicles will resume on February 23, 2017.

(Translated by Claire Marie Sausora)