Mazda’s rollout of electric cars has been a lot slower than a number of existing legacy carmakers, but that could change in the second half of the decade.
As reported by Automotive News, the Japanese carmaker will have an electric vehicle (EV) line-up of seven or eight models.
Mazda CEO Masahiro Moro told the publication there’s a new standalone division last month called e-Mazda to develop, engineer, market, and sell these new electric cars.
The first of these new electric models will reportedly debut between 2025 and 2027. They’ll also be built on a new scalable architecture of some variety.
It’s unclear if this architecture is related to the SkyActive Scalable EV Architecture which is meant to be introduced after 2025.
Moro-san said engineers working at the e-Mazda division will likely settle on three electric motor sizes, with outputs ranging from 70 to 110kW. Single- and dual-motor layouts are also expected.
The new suite of electric cars will reportedly concentrate on crossovers. Moro-san said there likely won’t be any small cars because batteries for those segments are too expensive.
It’s unclear if these new electric cars will be offered globally, though a report from the USA recently indicated Mazda is planning to launch an electric crossover in North America in 2025 that will use an existing nameplate.
Moro-san added Mazda will be an “intentional follower” on all-electric vehicles.
“One of the big issues for us is demand is uncertain,” said Moro san.
“In the current market, the reality for electrification, in particular for battery EVs, is the pace is not that high. So we may start a little slower in terms of the ramp-up. Not necessarily in terms of timing, but the ramp-up.”
As recently reported, Mazda is planning to sell only hybrid, plug-in hybrid (PHEV), or battery electric vehicles (BEVs) by 2030.
The company also expects at this point BEVs will account for at least 25 per cent of its line-up.
Over the last few months the company has also been axing mild-hybrid versions of its 3 hatch and sedan, and CX-30 crossover line-ups locally. All diesel versions of the CX-5 have been axed in Australia too.
The company says the axing of the CX-8 and MX-30 “aligns with this future strategy, freeing up valuable resources at Mazda Corporation to assist with the transition”.
As part of its revised “mid-term management plan” announced in 2022, Mazda intends to invest ¥1.5 trillion (~A$16 billion) to develop EVs as part of a three-phase strategy.
“As we move into the next phase of the Mazda brand’s evolution – with electrification at the heart of our focus – we will ensure our valued customers continue to be well-furnished with a suite of exciting models to join us on this journey,” said Mazda Australia managing director Vinesh Bhindi.
Mr Bhindi also reiterated the company’s plan for an electrified onslaught around 2024-25, including a mix of hybrids, PHEVs and BEVs across three key product architectures that also include the latest developments of the brand’s existing petrol, diesel and more recently rotary offerings.
The company has previously confirmed it will launch five hybrid, five PHEV and three BEV models or variants globally between 2022 and 2025, using the SkyActiv Multi-Solution Scalable Architecture that supports front-wheel drive models with a transverse engine layout and rear-wheel drive cars with a longitudinal engine layout.