Mazda has announced that it will increase its electric vehicle development budget, but many netizens are more intrigued by a coupe concept shown later.
The Vision Study concept debuted at the end of a video celebrating all four generations of the MX-5.
The round, sleek two-seat, two-door coupe could provide clues to the next-generation MX-5 or another MX-branded electric sports car.
It’s just as likely that this car will turn out to be just a design concept. Mazda has recently debuted some pretty cool sports car concepts that are supposed to be produced but are stalled for a variety of reasons.
Under the company’s revised ‘Medium-Term Management Plan’, Mazda now plans to invest 1.5 trillion yen ($16 billion) to develop electric vehicles under a three-pronged strategy stages.
In the first phase by 2025, Mazda will develop its new dedicated EV architecture while launching hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles to reduce carbon emissions.
In an announcement in mid-2021, Mazda said it would launch five full hybrid models, as well as five plug-in hybrid models by 2025.
It also had planned to unveil three purely electric models or variants during the same period. It is unknown if these vehicles are still scheduled for launch.
The company’s new rear and all-wheel-drive architecture, which underpins the CX-60, as well as the upcoming CX-70, CX-80 and CX-90 to Australia, not only supports a new generation of straight-six. gasoline and diesel cylinder engines, but also plug-in hybrid and mild hybrid systems.
As part of the second phase from 2025 to 2027, it will “introduce dedicated EV vehicles” in China “where electrification is progressing”, as well as “battery-powered EV vehicles around the world”.
Given the odd wording here, China-focused models may use a different platform or be otherwise distinct from EVs sold elsewhere.
Mazda CEO Akira Marumoto said the company is also considering expanding its electric vehicle production footprint to include the United States to take advantage of tax incentives on offer there.
In the third phase from 2027, Mazda will “promote the full-fledged launch of battery electric vehicles”. The automaker will also, at this stage, consider bringing battery production in-house.
Key technologies, such as batteries, chips and motors, for Mazda’s expanded electric vehicle push will be developed in conjunction with technical joint venture partners.
Despite increased development spending, Mazda has not provided further details on the EV models it plans to launch, nor the dedicated SkyActive Scalable EV architecture it is developing and expected to debut. in 2025.
It now expects 25-40% of its global sales to be made up of pure electric vehicles by 2030. An earlier forecast estimated that electric cars would only compromise 25% of the sales mix by the end of the decade.
The company did not provide EV sales estimates for different regions, describing the situation as “fluid” due to changing regulatory factors. The EU will ban the sale of new gasoline and diesel passenger cars from 2035, while California plans to only allow sales of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids from that date.
Mazda has announced its goal of being completely carbon neutral by 2050, with its factories becoming carbon neutral by 2035.
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