Mazda will launch its first Electric Vehicles (EV) in 2020 as part of its ‘Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030’ long-term technology development program.
The company says it will initially launch two battery EVs – one powered solely by battery, the other pairing a battery with Mazda’s small, lightweight and quiet rotary engine as a range-extender.
The range-extender will recharge the battery when necessary to increase the vehicle’s driving range.
Mazda says the rotary engine’s small size and high power output make multiple electrification technology solutions possible via a shared packaging layout. Taking advantage of the rotary engine’s compatibility with gaseous fuels, the rotary-powered range extender is designed to also burn liquefied petroleum gas and provide a source of electricity in emergencies.
Expecting that internal combustion engines combined with some form of electrification will account for 95 per cent of the vehicles it produces in 2030 (with battery electric vehicles accounting for the remaining 5 per cent), Mazda says it will continue to focus on maximising the efficiency of the internal combustion engine, as exemplified by its new, new-generation SKYACTIV-X petrol engine, which combusts through compression ignition.