The MX-30 is the first, but it certainly won’t be the last Mazda EV.
As giant automakers like Ford and General Motors pour tens of billions of dollars into EV development, we’re left wondering how small and scrappy Mazda would approach the issue with its relatively limited resources. If you weren’t already aware, the Japanese firm has been working with Toyota and supplier Denso on some technology sharing, which will help Mazda along over the coming years. That said, while the brand’s ‘SkyActiv multi-solution scalable architecture’ will incorporate some Toyota hybrid tech, senior managing executive officer Ichiro Hirose told reporters the company would largely develop its EV models independently, per a Reuters report.
On the whole, Mazda aims to electrify all its offerings by 2030. Of all vehicles it sells, 25% of those will be a battery EV, a goal which it announced last month. Thirteen vehicles in total are on the agenda — including three hybrids, five plug-in hybrids and three bespoke EVs. The company will focus on Europe, Japan, China and other Asian markets, with the first launches starting next year.
Right now, the Mazda EV picture boils down exclusively to the MX-30 crossover. While it’s already on sale in some markets abroad, it’s scheduled to make a U.S. appearance later this year. Beyond that, one of the conventional hybrid (Toyota-powered) models should emerge from the manufacturers’ joint plant in Alabama.
New engines incorporate electrification
We’ve known for the past few months Mazda aims to revamp its engine offerings in the near future. Among those, one of the biggest shifts is toward a hybridized inline-six engine for its “Large Architecture” vehicles. In fact, we have a pretty solid hunch at this point the next-generation Mazda6 (following up the long-running car Mazda just killed off) and the CX-50 crossover could well usher in that engine, as the brand attempts to move upmarket.
Compared to other, larger automakers, Mazda has a relatively small lineup in total. Discounting models that it recently dropped, the figure stands at just six cars — the Mazda3, CX-30, CX-5, CX-9, MX-30 and the halo MX-5 Miata. It’s virtually certain at this point as the automaker choreographs its goals, then, that we’re about to see a fundamental revamp and expansion over the next four to nine years.
It’s not just the next Mazda EV models we get to look forward to, either. A more advanced semi-autonomous driver assistance suite — another set of tech Mazda’s been sorely lacking these past few years — will also make its market debut next year. With that whole ‘upmarket’ ambition, it’s likely we’ll see it on the next-generation Mazda6 or the CX-50 first.