News Environment Mazda's Electrification Plan Includes 3 EVs and 5 Hybrids The automaker has finally announced its electrification plans. By Marc Carter Marc Carter Twitter Writer University of California, Santa Barbara Marc Carter is an EV writer and editor based in Los Angeles. He is the founder of The Torque Report; his work has also appeared on Discovery Channel, iMotorTimes, Inhabitat, and more. Learn about our editorial process Published October 7, 2021 12:00PM EDT Fact checked by Haley Mast Fact checked by Haley Mast LinkedIn Harvard University Extension School Haley Mast is a freelance writer, fact-checker, and small organic farmer in the Columbia River Gorge. She enjoys gardening, reporting on environmental topics, and spending her time outside snowboarding or foraging. Topics of expertise and interest include agriculture, conservation, ecology, and climate science. Learn about our fact checking process Mazda Share Twitter Pinterest Email News Environment Business & Policy Science Animals Home & Design Current Events Treehugger Voices News Archive Up until now, Mazda hasn’t been a player in the EV segment, but with nearly every automaker jumping in on the zero-emissions bandwagon, Mazda has finally announced its electrification plans. Mazda will introduce three new fully electric models and five plug-in hybrids by 2025. With the first one being the 2022 MX-30 electric crossover. The MX-30 is Mazda’s first electric vehicle for the U.S., but how does it stand out compared to rivals, like the Chevy Bolt, Hyundai Kona Electric, and Nissan Leaf? Well for starters, the MX-30 is smaller than most of its competitors, since Mazda says that it is designed more for city dwellers. While its small footprint will likely not be a big issue for some buyers, the bigger concern here is that the MX-30 can only travel 100 miles on a single charge. That’s lower than the Bolt, Kona Electric, and Leaf. The current generation of electric vehicles usually have a driving range of around 200-250 miles, so it’s interesting that Mazda decided to put a smaller battery in the MX-30. The automaker says the MX-30 is designed to be more attainable at a lower price point, which is why it has a smaller, less expensive battery. Mazda recently let us get some time behind the wheel of the MX-30, which also gave us a chance to find out more about the automaker’s electrification plans and why the MX-30 doesn’t look that great on paper compared to its rivals. Treehugger: With only 100 miles of range, how do you plan to market the MX-30 against rivals that can travel twice as far on a single charge? Mazda: Launching first in California, the MX-30 brings Mazda driving dynamics to an entirely new segment. The crossover design is ideally suited for daily commuting with an EPA estimated range of 100 miles on a full charge. Designed to meet the needs of most urban residents, MX-30 is equipped with a 35.5 kWh lithium-ion battery that helps maintain its superb driving dynamics and allow for a lower environmental impact. After the federal and state tax incentives, the MX-30 is only a few thousand more than the CX-30. Do you think 560 units is low? Why aren’t you building more for the 2022 model year? Mazda has strategically decided to roll out its first electric vehicle in California. The MX-30 will expand to other states in 2022 to cover demand. Marc Carter The interior is packed with sustainable materials. Can you explain why Mazda chose to use cork on the center console and doors? Mazda wanted to use materials that show an even greater respect for environmental conservation, while balancing between sustainability with the natural appeal and craftsmanship of the materials. The interior uses cork to blend modern with heritage sentiments by paying homage to Mazda’s origin as a cork manufacturer over 100 years ago. Cork is also one of the most sustainable materials available, and it’s practical in high touch areas since it's a very durable and forgiving material. Since the MX-30 shares its platform with the CX-30, why did Mazda decide to create a new model instead of just an electric CX-30? Wouldn’t the development costs have been lower? Or was the platform designed for an EV from the start? The MX-30 EV is built off Mazda’s latest generation small platform, which includes CX-30 and Mazda3. This platform is designed to be applicable for several solutions, which includes electrification. Platform generally means suspension pickup point and PT support structure. While the platform is the same, the sheet metal is different. The MX-30 floor sheet metal is different for battery as well as saleable components not to mention freestyle door crash structure. Due to the required redesign, we developed an all-new model for our first EV. What is Mazda’s electrification strategy? How will Mazda stand out from its rivals that also plan to go electric in the next decade? Future EV models will continue to include our trademark Mazda dynamic driving experience, delivered with the appropriate battery size and output to balance the environmental impact and minimize the carbon footprint of our vehicles. Our strategy is to deliver a vehicle that is distinctly Mazda, now just electrified. We did not want to make an electric vehicle for the sake of making an electric vehicle, we wanted our customers to enjoy the key traits that are rooted in Mazda’s DNA. We wanted our customer to have a stunning design, a well-crafted interior, a joyful and natural driving experience and technology features that customers can really enjoy but now on an electric vehicle. While the Mazda MX-30 is currently aimed at a small subset of buyers in California, it will likely get more appealing in 2022 when the MX-30 Plug-in hybrid is introduced. Mazda hasn’t announced the range for the plug-in hybrid version, but it will get a Rotary range extender engine that will extend the driving range once the battery is depleted. Beyond the MX-30, Mazda has also confirmed that it is working on a new platform that will be used for various electric vehicles. Since this new platform will be designed from the start for EVs, we can expect them to have a longer driving range than the MX-30.