Mazda Motor Corporation is independently developing an electric vehicle (EV) with plans to commence leasing in Japan in spring 2012. The new EV, based on its Demio subcompact, is expected to have a driving range of 200 kilometers (124 miles) and will be leased mainly to local government bodies and fleet customers.
Mazda is currently advancing its Building Block Strategy, which prioritizes the improvement of base technologies by developing more efficient engines and transmissions and reducing vehicle weight. Building on this, Mazda will progressively introduce electric devices such as regenerative braking and hybrid systems.
The initial results of the strategy—products featuring Mazda’s new SKYACTIV technologies—will begin rolling out to markets this year. In parallel with the Building Block Strategy, Mazda is also continuing its research and development efforts into EVs designed for customers with short city commutes. Through this EV lease program, Mazda hopes to enhance its knowledge of EV usage requirements and electric drive technologies.
Mazda says it expects the internal combustion engine to remain the heart of the automobile for the near future. Going forward, Mazda says it will continue to improve its base technologies that are centered on internal combustion while at the same time advancing advance development of various future technologies.