Mazda Wants To Launch 7-8 New EVs This Decade. But Don’t Expect Powerful Sports Cars

Mazda, maker of the iconic Miata, is what you’d call a latecomer to the electric vehicle game. In truth, it has its reasons. It’s one of the few remaining high-volume independent automakers in the world, so it’s had to resort to a very cautious “watch and see” strategy for the expensive and bumpy EV revolution ride.

But that will change toward the end of this decade, according to the automaker’s CEO, Masahiro Moro, who spoke with Hans Greimel from Automotive News about the company’s future in the electrified era. We covered some of this in yesterday’s Critical Materials roundup, but Moro’s points are worth expanding on here as we look to the rest of Mazda’s future. 

Mazda is known for its obsession with lightness and nimbleness. Big batteries mean a heavy car, and that doesn’t sit well with the Japanese marque. That’s why the MX-30, which was sold for a relatively brief stint in the United States, has just 35.5 kilowatt-hours worth of juice in the high-voltage battery. It makes the car quite light by EV standards, tipping the scales at about 3,700 pounds, but it also makes it useless range-wise for anybody who wants to drive long distances.

Gallery: 2022 Mazda MX-30: First Drive

With an EPA-rated combined range of just 92 miles, the MX-30 was one of the shortest-range battery-powered cars sold in the United States, and the fact that it could recharge its battery at a maximum rate of 50 kW didn’t help. After selling fewer than 600 units in two years Stateside, the quirky electric crossover was discontinued this side of the Atlantic.

Between 2025 and 2027, Mazda will launch a purpose-built modular EV platform that will underpin up to eight battery-electric vehicles by 2030, Moro said for Automotive News, adding that production will initially be based in Japan with North America under consideration from 2028.

With this being said, don’t expect to see an all-electric Miata anytime soon, as the automaker will focus its electrification efforts mainly on crossovers and SUVs. This is not exactly adrenaline-inducing news for enthusiasts, but it’s what sells. (It’s also worth noting that a Miata with some form of “electrification” has been in the works for years now, possibly for the next one, but it will almost certainly be some kind of hybrid rather than an EV.) 

“I’d like Mazda to introduce a nice-looking SUV with more of an SUV look,” Masahiro Moro said, adding that the company has the technology to decrease the drag coefficient that’s crucial to get as many miles per charge as possible.

A small and medium SUV will also be in the mix, and all will be powered by either one or two electric motors. 

“We are evaluating customer needs, because if you use a high-power motor, it requires a lot of battery capacity, which makes the vehicle heavier and more expensive,” the CEO said. “For example, 110 kilowatts would be a high-power motor. We are looking at 70, 80, 90, 110 kilowatts, that range. We are evaluating one motor and two motors. It is not decided.”

To make everything happen, the company established a standalone e-Mazda division last month that employs fewer than 100 people. They’re designing the platform, the vehicles, and planning the business side, Moro said. “That is the purpose. We put it all together in a one-stop shop,” he added.

Mazda Iconic SP Concept

In 2030, the maker of the Miata expects EVs to account for between 25% and 40% of its global sales, but even with this rather large buffer on the table, Moro is still very cautious when predicting the future.

“We anticipated a range of 25 percent to 40 percent. But nobody knows,” he said. “Everyone is scaling back investment or pushing back timelines. The current trajectory may result in the lower percentage of that range. But nobody really knows.”

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