2022 Mazda MX-30 EV Arrives in California This Fall, Rotary PHEV to Follow

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
2022 mazda mx 30 ev arrives in california this fall rotary phev to follow

Mazda’s first electric vehicle will arrive in the United States later this year, though technically it’s just going to be California while the manufacturer considers the viability of selling to regions beyond the West Coast. The rollout makes sense as America’s 31st state has been hungrier for electric vehicles than other parts of the country.

But the 2022 MX-30 will only begin its life here as a battery-powered product. Mazda has said it’s also planning to sell a plug-in-hybrid version of the crossover equipped with a gasoline-dependent rotary engine/generator sometime in 2022, making it something that might be able to stand on its own in areas where the distance between charging points makes owning a pure EV unpalatable.

Truth be told, we think the latter model will ultimately be the biggest success story in the U.S. due to the MX-30 EV’s rather small battery pack. While not particularly impressive, the front-drive crossover’s 143 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque should be sufficient in helping drivers keep up with the surrounding traffic. But the default lithium-ion battery pack only has a maximum capacity of 35.5 kWh, leaving us fretting about the probability of range limitations.

For comparison, the Chevrolet Bolt uses a battery that maxes out at 66 kWh and delivers 260 miles of range under the most idyllic of circumstances and the Nissan Leaf (equipped with the base 40-kWh battery) will achieve around 150 miles before it needs an outlet. Unless Mazda has outfitted the MX-30 with the most impressive energy management program currently in existence, we’d wager that it’s not capable of breaking 100 miles with any regularity. But we’ll have to wait to see what the EPA says before we formally accuse it of being a perpetrator of the dreaded range anxiety. Europe’s WLTP cycle claims 124 miles but those numbers always end up being lower when put into practice.

DC fast charging is available, though it appears to be a step behind the competition. Mazda is claiming an 80 percent charge in under 36 minutes — which kind of places it in the middle of the pack. However, this is entirely dependent upon what type of charging stations you have access to. Those who only bother recharging their vehicle after they’ve tucked it in at night probably won’t care that the Tesla Model 3 can technically take on juice faster.

Though Mazda isn’t actually targeting vehicles like the Chevy Bolt or Tesla Model 3 with the MX-30 — even though it’s technically sized between them. In Europe, the little crossover mainly competes with a bunch of EVs that are likely too petite for the United States, listing the kind of ranges that would keep them locked into an urban environment. There, it’s going up against the Renault Zoe and Peugeot e-208. Here, it’s really only going to have to worry about the Mini Electric and Nissan Leaf … assuming Mazda can keep the price tag near or below $30,000.

Lower is definitely better.

Mazda has stated in the past that the reason the battery pack is kind of small on the MX-30 is to keep efficiency high and production costs low. With the EV competition retailing between $32,000 and $40,000 being incredibly stiff for such a niche segment, Mazda would be very wise to try and keep its distance. Unfortunately, it still may need to fall back on its curb appeal and desirable driving dynamics to make up the difference. Models selling in Europe (right around $35,000) are making us worry that the crossover will come to our shores foolishly overpriced, though the domestic Japanese MSRPs are substantially lower.

The MX-30 PHEV with the SkyActiv-R rotary range extender is supposedly coming next year, presumably identified as 2023 model year vehicle, and we’re substantially more interested in what it will be offering. While we’ve heard that it will run nearly silently, using the gasoline motor to help recharge the battery instead of propulsion, Mazda has remained hushed on the project as it focuses on marketing the EV version.

[Images: Mazda]

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  • NG5 NG5 on Apr 17, 2021

    A lightweight, primarily electric vehicle with about 100 miles of range would be great for almost all my tasks. Having a backup engine for potentially "unlimited" range would fill in the rest very nicely. Unfortunately, it is FWD. I'd prefer RWD or accept AWD, but it won't be sold near me anyway. I'd at least test drive one. I did not like the feel of the Prius I test drove, and would prefer a full EV from a company with a reputation for reliability and simplicity. Most EVs are plagued by "futuristic" garbage. I would rather have range anxiety than fiddle with an app to adjust air vents while driving.

  • LOVE MY WAGON LOVE MY WAGON on Nov 24, 2021

    I don't know why ALL cars aren't made with the doors that open like this. Previously the Rolls Royce was the only car that has it. Makes it SO much easier to get in/out. That, and round vents instead of the terrible rectangle or square ones that are limited in their ability to direct air in ANY direction. Can't do that with those rectangle things.

  • Nrd515 I bought an '88 S10 Blazer with the 4.3. We had it 4 years and put just about 48K on it with a bunch of trips to Nebraska and S. Dakota to see relatives. It had a couple of minor issues when new, a piece of trim fell off the first day, and it had a seriously big oil leak soon after we got it. The amazinly tiny starter failed at about 40K, it was fixed under some sort of secret warranty and we got a new Silverado as a loaner. Other than that, and a couple of tires that blew when I ran over some junk on the road, it was a rock. I hated the dash instrumentation, and being built like a gorilla, it was about an inch and a half too narrow for my giant shoulders, but it drove fine, and was my second most trouble free vehicle ever, only beaten by my '82 K5 Blazer, which had zero issues for nearly 50K miles. We sold the S10 to a friend, who had it over 20 years and over 400,000 miles on the original short block! It had a couple of transmissions, a couple of valve jobs, a rear end rebuild at 300K, was stolen and vandalized twice, cut open like a tin can when a diabetic truck driver passed out(We were all impressed at the lack of rust inside the rear quarters at almost 10 years old, and it just went on and on. Ziebart did a good job on that Blazer. All three of his sons learned to drive in it, and it was only sent to the boneyard when the area above the windshield had rusted to the point it was like taking a shower when it rained. He now has a Jeep that he's put a ton of money into. He says he misses the S10's reliablity a lot these days, the Jeep is in the shop a lot.
  • Jeff S Most densely populated areas have emission testing and removing catalytic converters and altering pollution devices will cause your vehicle to fail emission testing which could effect renewing license plates. In less populated areas where emission testing is not done there would probably not be any legal consequences and the converter could either be removed or gutted both without having to buy specific parts for bypassing emissions. Tampering with emission systems would make it harder to resell a vehicle but if you plan on keeping the vehicle and literally running it till the wheels fall off there is not much that can be done if there is no emission testing. I did have a cat removed on a car long before mandatory emission testing and it did get better mpgs and it ran better. Also had a cat gutted on my S-10 which was close to 20 years old which increased performance and efficiency but that was in a state that did not require emission testing just that reformulated gas be sold during the Summer months. I would probably not do it again because after market converters are not that expensive on older S-10s compared to many of the newer vehicles. On newer vehicles it can effect other systems that are related to the operating and the running of the vehicle. A little harder to defeat pollution devices on newer vehicles with all the systems run by microprocessors but if someone wants to do it they can. This law could be addressing the modified diesels that are made into coal rollers just as much as the gasoline powered vehicles with cats. You probably will still be able to buy equipment that would modify the performance of a vehicles as long as the emission equipment is not altered.
  • ToolGuy I wonder if Vin Diesel requires DEF.(Does he have issues with Sulfur in concentrations above 15ppm?)
  • ToolGuy Presented for discussion: https://xroads.virginia.edu/~Hyper2/thoreau/civil.html
  • Kevin Ford can do what it's always done. Offer buyouts to retirement age employees, and transfers to operating facilities to those who aren't retirement age. Plus, the transition to electric isn't going to be a finger snap one time event. It's going to occur over a few model years. What's a more interesting question is: Where will today's youth find jobs in the auto industry given the lower employment levels?