What seemed like a mundane press statement from Mazda’s press office turned out to have a little white gem.
In a November 2022 update on the Japanese carmaker’s management plans until 2030, there were photos of a swoopy and sleek coupe called the “Vision Study Model.”
From its thin headlights to its curvaceous wheel arches, the concept car looks like a futuristic MX-5 or a potential RX-7 successor.
Although Mazda made absolutely no mention of the Vision Study Model in its press statement, it might play some role in the company’s drive to electrify all of its models by 2030.
3 phases of Mazda electrification
The Japanese carmaker said it would use a three-phase approach to achieve its electrification target, which is part of a bigger goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
First, the company will use “multiple electrification technologies” to help the environment and to produce “attractive products.”
The Mazda CX-60, which debuted on April 2022, uses a hybrid system in its gasoline and diesel engines. These powerplants are also expected to power the upcoming CX-90 crossover.
Second, Mazda said it will introduce a new hybrid system, along with fully electric vehicles initially for the Chinese market.
Finally, the company said it will launch battery EVs by 2028 and “consider investing in battery production” by then.
Mazda expects EVs to make up 25 to 40 percent of its global sales by 2030.
This is an apparent departure from its previous hard stance on harnessing the potential of internal combustion engines through technical development and the use of synthetic fuels. Reports claim that the company will significantly divert new investment from gasoline and diesel models to electric vehicle technologies such as EVs and plug-in hybrids.
However, it maintains its approach to provide multiple solutions in its product portfolio to achieve its carbon neutrality goals. This ranges from continuing to produce internal combustion engines, to hybrids, rotary engine electrification, and full battery EV development.
Tie-ups for electric motors
The company announced in a separate November 2022 press statement that it has also inked agreements with several companies to develop electric power units.
These firms include:
Imasen Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.
Chuo Kaseihin Co., Inc.
Hiroshima Aluminum Industry Co., Ltd.
Fukuta Electric & Machinery Co., Ltd.
ROHM Co., Ltd.
Mazda said the power units would be composed of a motor, an inverter with power semiconductors, and a reduction gear.
“Electric drive units are a crucial part of vehicle electrification,” the carmaker said.
“Equally, they are indispensable to the evolution of driving pleasure Mazda always pursues as the industry transitions into a new era in response to electrification and the need to achieve carbon neutrality,” Mazda added.
What do you think of Mazda’s electrification plans? Do you think they’ll be able to catch up with carmakers that transitioned earlier?