Recent statements from Joachim Kunz, Mazda’s head of Product Development and Engineering, have revealed that the Japanese carmaker will be adopting a rather curious approach to its electric car strategy. For one, the company intends to make sure that its first EV, the MX-30 SUV, will feel familiar to drivers, and it intends to accomplish this by intentionally tuning the vehicle to be less “frenetic” than other electric cars.
This, of course, will result in the MX-30 having performance that is not up to par with other premium electric cars like the Tesla Model Y and the Jaguar I-PACE. But this is not all that is quite strange with Mazda’s EV strategy. The company has also stated that it will not produce vehicles with large battery packs because they are allegedly worse for the environment.
Explaining his point to Autocar, Kunz cited a Japanese University’s study which claimed that a 95 kWh battery pack was less environmentally favorable than Mazda’s Skyactiv diesel engine. Thus, Mazda intends to utilize a rather small 35 kWh battery because it makes more sense environmentally, at least according to Kunz.
The MX-30 will use a Panasonic lithium-ion battery manufactured in Japan that the company claims will give owners around 130 miles of range and 141 bhp. The company’s research suggested that by 50,000 miles, the Mazda MX-30 and its 35 kWh battery should start trending towards environmentally-friendly emissions.
For buyers who wish to travel longer distances, Mazda intends to release a “range extender system” that utilizes a compact rotary engine. Kunz stated it was too early to release any specific details on the rotary motor, but the system was available for the public to see in Portugal at Mazda’s event for the MX-30. The vehicle is expected to begin production in Europe later in 2020 and in the UK in 2021.
Electric vehicles are good for the environment. They create a smoke-free and environmentally-conscious transportation selection for whoever deems it as an appropriate option. Battery production has seen a drastic decline in CO2 emissions according to a Swedish environmental group. Simply put, there continues to be little to no need to place petrol-powered motors in electric vehicles.
Tesla’s industry-leading battery technology has led to a growth in the electric vehicle sector for a number of reasons. One of the biggest reasons is the fact that Tesla vehicles offer more range than any other electric car on the market and it has to do with the company’s constantly-improving battery technology. With this in mind, Mazda’s EV strategies, particularly with regards to performance and range, seem uninspired at best and questionable at worst.