In a short press release today Mazda announced they are independently developing a new electric vehicle with plans to commence leasing in Japan in spring 2012. This new EV is based on the Demio or Mazda2 as we know it, and is said to have a driving range of 200 kilometres.
Before Mazda can kick its EV production into the high gear though, they are going to go through lots of test and pilot programs to enhance their knowledgeable of electric vehicles, their usage requirements and electric drive technologies. That’s why at the first phase Mazda Electric Vehicles will be leased mainly to local government bodies and fleet customers in Japan.
Mazda is currently advancing its Building Block Strategy, which prioritises 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, eco-friendly 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.