Mazda Has Deliberately Positioned Its First Battery-Electric Vehicle (BEV) Away From The Current Approach To EV Design & Development. Despite Its Late Entry, The Mazda EV May Prove To Be A Winner!
The All-Electric Mazda MX-30 crossover, is the first production battery-electric vehicle (BEV) from the Japanese automotive manufacturer, the Mazda Motor Corporation. The pure electric compact SUV was unveiled at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show.
It is a crucial period for Mazda and other automotive manufacturers selling in Europe, as new CO2 emission regulations come into effect in 2020. According to Mazda Europe Chief, Yasuhiro Aoyama, “To avoid CO2 penalties, the electric vehicle is an indispensable part of our strategy.”
Mazda is unique, in that, one of the key determinants of the EV battery size was the ‘life-cycle’ environmental impact. According to Mazda, the smaller battery pack has a more positive environmental footprint, challenging some of the conventional wisdom in the electric vehicle sector, with automotive manufacturers aspiring for large EV batteries with longer zero-emission range.
Though the MX-30 has been entirely developed by Mazda, the automotive behemoth is also collaborating with Toyota on a 50-50 joint venture called EV-CAS (EV C.A. Spirit Corporation). The core purpose of this JV is to research and develop ‘the most efficient electric vehicle platform’.
- The pure electric MX-30 is Mazda’s first mass market electric car. The BEV has adopted the RX-8 sports car freestyle rear-hinged door design. The suicide doors have a ‘center-pillar-less’ door system and therefore give easy access to rear seat passengers. The front of the EV is more similar to the Mazda CX-5 crossover.
- The electric vehicle is positioned for the young urban commuter and its 35.5 kWh battery size reflects the shorter city commutes. However, the 130 miles zero-emission electric range can easily be used for weekend getaways. The battery is supplied by Panasonic.
- The company has also challenged incumbent EV manufactures on ‘noise’ by incorporating an artificial sound similar to an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle. It is not clear if the eco-friendly vehicle will come with an option of ‘silent driving’. According to the company “Mazda’s e-Skyactiv provides aural feedback to the driver that enables him or her to subconsciously recognize the torque status of the power unit and thus control vehicle speed with greater precision.”
- As expected with the latest models of electric vehicles, the MX-30 will be packed with technology to include the Mazda i-Activsense safety suite, blind-spot monitoring, bicycle detection, smart brake support (SBS), collision prevention and lane-keeping assist.
- The company has also opted for low-impact and sustainable materials for the inside cabin, to include, recycled plastic bottles and cork harvested from the bark of trees without felling.
- The electric vehicle will be capable of AC charging at up to 6.6 kW and will also support DC charging up to 50 kW.
- Prices yet to be confirmed but expected to be below £30,000. The electric vehicle will go on sale in Japan And Europe in second half 2020.
Battery And Range
- Battery capacity: 35.5 kWh
- Battery type: lithium-ion
- Range: 130 miles (estimate)
- Capable of rapid charging (up to 80% charge in 30 to 40 minutes)
Power & Performance
- 0-62 mph: N/A
- Top speed: N/A
- Brake horsepower: 141 bhp
- Torque: 264 Nm
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