Mazda may not have shown an electric car at last week’s LA auto show, but it is poised to join the electric-car revolution.
A new report in British Autocar magazine notes that the zoom-zoom automaker will introduce a new electric model in 2020 that won’t be shared with other gas cars in Mazda’s lineup.
Mazda has said that a range extended version of the new electric model, using a small rotary engine no bigger than two shoeboxes will be available around the same time.
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The company has previously said that the new model will be a taller crossover, based on the Mazda3. The CX-5 shares elements of the Mazda3 and Mazda6 platform, so the new crossover could be sized between the CX-5 and the smaller, Mazda2-based CX-3.
The company has taken some criticism for its reliance on internal combustion engines, even spending millions to develop a new compression-ignition gasoline engine, known as Skyactiv-X, which is expected to arrive in the new Mazda3 around the same time. (That car debuted at last week’s LA auto show without the new engine.)
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Mazda has also partnered with Toyota to develop electric and plug in cars, but its first electric—in development before the partnership—is not part of that effort.
The company’s first plug-in hybrid—beyond its rotary range-extended electric—that will stem from the Toyota partnership, is expected to debut in 2021. Considering Toyota’s involvement and its technology, it will likely use a piston engine and may have some version of Toyota’s dual-motor Integrated Motor Assist electronic continuously variable transmission.
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Given the near simultaneous introduction of a range-extended version of the first electric car, it sounds likely to be a short-range electric.
Mazda has committed to reducing its “well-to-wheels” output of carbon-dioxide greenhouse gases to 50 percent of 2010 levels by 2030. To do that, the company says that 95 percent of its cars will have some form of hybrid powertrain by 2030, and the rest will be electric.
Small automakers such as Mazda are facing a deadline to sell zero-emissions vehicles in California and China.