Mazda CEO says a new EV is coming in 2020

Automotive News Europe has published an interview with Mazda CEO Akira Marumoto, revealing details of the company’s EV future.

While Mazda’s Skyactiv-X platform has done wonders for meeting strict global emission standards, particularly in Europe, the reality is EV is going to have to be a part of their future product portfolio.

Marumoto confirmed that Mazda will first introduce their first EV on a Mazda architecture in 2020. Author of the article, ANDREA MALAN asks some very pointed questions, including how Mazda plans of meeting the CO2 emission targets in Europe. Current emissions are rated at 130g/km, but by the year 2021, that needs to be as low as 95g/km. Here in lies the reason Mazda are accelerating the release of EVs in the market.

Given the zero emissions of an EV, the net emissions for the Mazda vehicles would reduce significantly if they can be successful in making a great battery-electric product and transitioning the petrol and diesel customer-base to it.

Will the joint work Mazda is doing with Toyota help you reach the even stricter 2025 and 2030 CO2 targets? When will the first results of this cooperation come to the market?

We do not develop any engines with Toyota. Mazda is a small company, so we have to focus on our uniqueness, and I believe our engines are very unique. If we share our engines with other companies, that would dilute our uniqueness. Therefore, we have no plans to do so. We are jointly developing a new EV architecture with Toyota, but we will first introduce our own EV on a Mazda architecture in 2020.

Mazda CEO Akira Marumoto

In a follow-up question, Marumoto reveals there’ll also be a number of plug-in hybrid models from 2021 or 2022, which mean they may miss their emissions targets to the point of wearing some financial penalties for doing so.

Will Mazda manage to hit the target in 2020 and 2021? How will it do that?

First, the Skyactiv-X engine we are launching this year emits less than 100g/km of CO2. [The Skyactiv-X uses a technology called spark-controlled compression ignition, which Mazda says combines the best traits of diesel and gasoline engines.] Second, the first Mazda battery-electric vehicle will hit the market next year. Finally, we will introduce plug-in hybrid models from 2021 or 2022. So we will eventually achieve the target, although we will have some difficulties in 2020.

Mazda CEO Akira Marumoto

Mazda expects that internal combustion engines (ICE), combined with some form of electrification will account for 95% of the vehicles it produces in 2030. Currently, it estimates fully electric vehicles will only account for the remaining 5%, something I believe we’ll see Mazda reconsider to a far higher percentage if they’re to be as relevant 10 years from now.

While they’re certainly moving in the right direction with an EV next year, it seems their primary focus continues to be on maximising the efficiency of the internal combustion engine, something many other automakers have determined is being superseded by electric drivetrains. I understand Mazda’s position, given their significant R&D into existing efforts, but you have to move where the market is going and that’s very clearly electric.

To read the full interview, head to Europe Auto News.

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Jason Cartwright
Jason Cartwright
Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021

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