The first fully-electric model from Mazda will be a standalone model, according to a report by Autocar. The Japanese automaker from Hiroshima last year laid out its plans for electrification, citing that all of its future cars will be electrified in some way by 2035, and in October confirmed that it will launch a full battery EV and a rotary-engined range extender in 2020.
Both powertrains will feature in the same model and debut around the same time, the report said, adding that it will be followed by he firm’s first plug-in hybrid in 2021. The new model’s exact form has yet to be confirmed, though Autocar says this is likely to be an SUV as it is both a popular style and can accommodate battery packs more easily.
Mazda design chief Ikuo Maeda told the website that he doesn’t want upcoming electric vehicles to ‘look digital’, and meant that he would like the electrified models to have the same design-led style as the rest of Mazda’s current range. “We don’t want an EV to look like a fridge like some other car makers,” added Jo Stenuit, Mazda’s European design head.
The first of Mazda’s upcoming electric vehicles has been in development before its joint venture with Toyota was formalised, and as such won’t emerge from the alliance with its compatriot. So far, Mazda has chosen to further develop internal combustion engines for better efficiency, resulting in the Skyactiv-X compression-igntion petrol engine which resides in the new Mazda 3.
The company aims to further reduce carbon emissions – not just from tailpipe emissions, but manufacturing processes as well – by up to 50% in 2030 (compared to levels in 2010), onwards to a 90% reduction in 2050. With the commercialisation of the Skyactiv-X engine, Mazda is heading towards electrification of its model range to various extents; 95% of them will be hybrids, with the remaining 5% being pure EVs.
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