Mazda Looking to Roll Out Electric Cars By 2018
Although it’s providing a fleet of some 100 Demio (Mazda2) all-electric vehicles to select lease customers in Japan (see above), Mazda doesn’t currently offer any other EV passenger vehicles.
However, that may soon change, as Chief Engineer Mitsuru Fujinaka has said the Hiroshima based automaker is looking to get regulartory approval so it can eventually offer EVs for sale in the United States, particularly California. “Sooner or later we will have these electric vehicles,” he said. “At least by 2018 though we will try to do it earlier.”
The JDM Mazda Demio models currently under test, sport a 70 kW electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack that adds approximately 220 lbs in extra weight. Fujinaka says the goal was to offer a zero tailpipe emisisons vehicle that delivered comparable performance to the regular 1.5-liter gas engined Demio and thanks to instant torque (equivalent of some 148 lb-ft), the electric version can scoot from 0-62 mph in less than 10.7 seconds and reach speeds of 87 mph. Range maxes out at approximately 125 miles.
Although the current Demio (Mazda2) EV likely won’t be sold in export markets, there’s a good chance that similar size successors could be. If and when that happens, it’ll be interesting to see both Mazda’s pricing strategy and rollout program, particularly here in the US.