More Internal Combustion Abandonment: Mazda Plans Fully Electric Fleet By 'Early 2030s'

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
more internal combustion abandonment mazda plans fully electric fleet by

Mazda recently announced the testing of its Skyactiv-X compression ignition engine, which promises to burn gasoline with diesel-like efficiency. If it hits its projected launch date of 2019, it will become the first mass-produced motor of its type and is likely to be showered with praise from environmentalists and enthusiasts alike.

However, as we progress deeper into the millennium, it’s becoming evident that more and more automakers are willing to embrace electricity as the next solution to efficiency. That makes Mazda a bit of an oddity, maybe even a dinosaur, and we were wondering when the company would give in to electrification. Especially since it has already partnered with Toyota to tighten its grasp on the technology.

The current trend in the industry is for an automaker to choose a date for omnipresent electrification, tell the press, and then pat itself on the back for a job well done. Volvo set its date for widespread BEV/hybrid usage as 2019, but other automakers have given more conservative estimates with a median of 2025. For Mazda, a report from Kyodo News (via Reuters) indicates that the Japanese automaker will electrify its entire lineup by the “early 2030s.”

While the automaker hasn’t yet responded to the report, the news is likely associated with its “Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030” campaign, which focuses the brand’s long-term strategy on tech development — including Skyactiv-X.

That’s quite a bit further out than its rivals. So far, in fact, that we aren’t all that interested in taking this claim too seriously. While there is little doubt that Mazda will eventually bolster its EV footprint, especially since it currently only has one (overseas) hybrid model to its name, plans made more than a decade out aren’t much use to anyone.

Here are a few examples. Remember in 2008 when Honda said the FCX Clarity would usher in the age of hydrogen-powered cars? Do you recall when General Motors started consumer testing of the EV1 and assured the world that the age of battery-driven vehicles was upon us? So do we.

The point is that, if anything, Mazda will gradually tweak its fleet to include more hybrids and milk its ultra-efficient gasoline engines — instead of swapping to pure EVs — before reassessing the global situation closer to the end of the next decade. What it has done here is made itself appear as if it’s in line with other manufacturers by setting a target date so far into the future that it’ll never be held accountable for it — which is fine with us. Mazda is doing good work with the internal combustion engine and we don’t see any reason for it to march with its contemporaries at the back of the line when it can blaze its own trail down another.

[Image: Mazda]

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  • Bhtooefr Bhtooefr on Sep 18, 2017

    Electrification doesn't mean making electric cars, it means electric propulsion. This could be in the form of a full-on battery electric car. Or, it could be in the form of a 48 volt starter/generator putting 5 kW or so of additional power into the crankshaft of an ICE, having regenerated some electricity under braking - a mild hybrid.

  • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Sep 18, 2017

    I'd say theres a good chance Mazda as it currently stands be gone by the 2030s.

  • SPPPP It seems like a really nice car that's just still trying to find its customer.
  • MRF 95 T-Bird I owned an 87 Thunderbird aka the second generation aero bird. It was a fine driving comfortable and very reliable car. Quite underrated compared to the GM G-body mid sized coupes since unlike them they had rack and pinion steering and struts on all four wheels plus fuel injection which GM was a bit late to the game on their mid and full sized cars. When I sold it I considered a Mark VII LSC which like many had its trouble prone air suspension deleted and replaced with coils and struts. Instead I went for a MN-12 Thunderbird.
  • SCE to AUX Somebody got the bill of material mixed up and never caught it.Maybe the stud was for a different version (like the 4xe) which might use a different fuel tank.
  • Inside Looking Out Scandinavian design costs only $600? I mean the furniture.
  • Akear Lets be honest, Lucid will not be around in five years. It does not matter that it is probably the world's best EV sedan. Lucid's manufacturing and marketing is a complete mess. The truth is most EV companies are going under within the decade.