To find out how Mazda’s MX-30 is the secret to its EV strategy, I began a two-week test drive in Mazda’s first electric vehicle. It is beautifully designed, has butterfly doors, cork interior trim, and offers the latest technology. But unfortunately, it is being sold only in California this year, and only 560 are in the U.S.
However, some adjustments are needed to my driving habits and distances since it only has an electric range of 124 miles on a full charge. Therefore, changing my driving techniques and computes, as most people who average about 30 miles a day do, is no easy task.
Mazda has a good reason for producing a lightweight 35.5 kWh battery. The secret is in the charging time, which only takes about 35 minutes to charge fully. Mazda’s EV strategy includes introducing another MX-30 with a new rotary engine to double the electric range.
While many other EVs average over a 200-mile range, Mazda has been developing a new rotary generator since 2018, which will extend the electric range while driving. The rotary engine hopes to surpass regenerate braking and gas-backed plug-in-hybrids (PHEV) in charging the battery while driving.
Meanwhile, MX-30 owners who need to take longer trips can get a gasoline-powered Mazda free ten days a year. In addition, Mazda will provide $500 to install a home charging port.
Suppliers involved in the Mazda MX-30 Range Extender’s development told Nikkei that Mazda wants to double the range of the MX-30 EV to 249 miles with the assistance of the rotary engine.
The MX-30 has an electric motor that produces 144 horsepower and 200 pound-feet of torque. The lightweight battery pack may not have the ideal range, but it could solve the problem of charging time. Therefore, adding a rotary motor that recharges the battery and extends its driving range could set an industry standard.
Fortunately, I found an EV charging station a few blocks from my home, which takes less than 40 minutes to fully charge on a fast charger and about 5 hours on a home /public charger.
While most other automakers introduced hybrids, plug-in hybrids (PHEV), and then EVs, most of their products are gasoline-powered cars, trucks, and SUVs. Mazda’s foray into environmentally friendly vehicles starts with an EV with a smaller battery while developing the technology needed to extend its range. If it succeeds, it could wind up having the fastest charging battery in the industry.
The Japanese automaker plans to unveil five new SUVs, namely Mazda CX-50, Mazda CX-60, Mazda CX-70, Mazda CX-80, and Mazda CX-90, by 2023. Except for the CX-50, all vehicles will come with a selection of electrified powertrains.
In 2023, Mazda also plans to introduce more EVs, hybrids, PHEVs. The 2022 Mazda MX-30 is a subcompact SUV with butterfly doors that starts at $33,740 MSRP. The better-equipped Premium Plus model I’m driving begins at $36,480 MSRP. Up to $7,000 in tax credits are available, depending on your location.
For more reviews on new cars, trucks, and SUVs, visit www.decisivemedia.net. By Randi Payton, Decisive Media Network.