8.8.2017Mazda reveals electric vehicles are due in 2019
Mazda has announced that it will launch electric vehicles into its model line-up from 2019 onwards. The Japanese firm is also set to develop other electrified drivetrains, and dramatically reduce its 'well-to-wheel' carbon dioxide emissions.
Under the title Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030, Mazda has revealed its long-term targets over the course of the next 13 years or so. Along with developing cleaner and more efficient petrol engines, Mazda confirmed that electric cars are on the way in the next couple of years.
Likely to be plug-in hybrids initially, Mazda will develop electric vehicle powertrains to launch at the same time as its next-generation engine called Skyactiv-X, which will also be supercharged. This will be the world's first commercial petrol engine to use compression ignition.
The upshot of Skyactiv-X engines is that it will combine the benefits of diesel engines - higher efficiency and improved MPG and CO2 emissions - with those of petrol - lower NOx and particulates. It's Mazda's aim to 'perfect the internal combustion engine'.
Mazda claims that Skyactiv-X engines, which use 'Spark Controlled Compression Ignition', will improve fuel economy and engine response, and increase torque by 10-30 per cent over the current Skyactiv-G petrol engine. Efficiency is better by 20-30 per cent compared to the same unit.
Mazda's renewed focus on company emissions will expand to a well-to-wheel perspective, taking into account emissions produced over a vehicle's entire life cycle. Aims are to reduce well-to-wheel CO2 emissions to 50% of 2010 levels by 2030, and 90% by 2050.
Safety developments will come through too which combine active systems with good basics. Mazda's i-Activsense advanced safety features will help drivers recognise and asses hazards. This is already available in Japan, but will be rolled out into other markets in 2018.
Mazda will also improve the fundamentals such as a good driving position and pedal lay-out, and improved visibility. That's before the company's autonomous driving technologies will begin testing in 2020, before being made standard on all models by 2025.
Called Mazda Co-Pilot, the systems will be 'human-centred', with people able to enjoy driving when possible, with the car taking the strain in tiring or strenuous conditions.