Mazda is banking on hybrids for electrification strategy
Mazda has announced to electrify all of their models in the coming decade, partly at least, as the Japanese manufacturer is banking on hybrid motor systems for this endeavour. By 2030, 95% of their vehicles will feature a double motor system, with only 5% being fully electric.
Development of an electrified vehicle was also confirmed for 2020, which will utilise a Wankel motor as a range extender to charge the battery. Since we first broke the news, Mazda released more information on their planned EV. According to information from Autocar, the first fully electric model will not be a derivative of an existing Mazda, but a dedicated electric car. The planned variant with Wankel engine as range extender is to be launched at about the same time as Mazda’s first plug-in hybrid, in 2021.
That may also explain (or excuse) why Mazda was a year late on their plans, with Mazda CEO Kiyoshi Fujiwara explaining the delay: “It took some time to put in the latest battery technology and we revised the layout to allow us to use the technology across multiple electric vehicles, so we’re a bit behind – that’s a fact.”
Mazda’s solution of using a Wankel engine, or rotary engine, as a range extender is also not entirely new. At the end of August, the vehicle manufacturer entered the appropriate patent, which was in turn published by the Japanese patent authority recently. The range extender charges the battery while driving, allowing for an increased range on hybrid and electric vehicles.
Mazda’s electrification strategy up to 2030 is more extensive than that of their “larger brother” Toyota, which is only aiming to have about half of their sales electrified by this point. This is despite Mazda having some difficulties with the adaptation over recent years. They seem to have overcome these issues, even if hybrid technology seems to be the fix-all solution provided by Mazda.
One year ago, Mazda, Toyota and the supplier Denso founded a joint venture to develop basic technologies for electrified vehicles, covering everything from compacts to SUVs and small utility vehicles.