While the majority of automotive manufacturers in attempts to follow environmental demands are sending more and more hybrid or electric versions of their cars to the market, Mazda seems to be the last manufacturer to resist this trend. Recently, it announced that it will introduce its first electric car in the coming years, but it will also have a range extender in the shape of a rotary engine.
It seems, however, that Hiroshima based brand will need to change its plans. With the new Mazda 3 the brand has recently introduced the new generation of Skyactiv-X engines, which are supposed to be considerably cleaner and provide low enough CO2 emissions to avoid the need for exhaust gas cleaning systems. However, neither the new generation of gasoline engines nor the introduction of a selective catalytic reduction system will be enough to sufficiently clean the exhaust gases, Mazda Europe's General Manager Jeff Guyton said to Automotive News Europe. He added that all models with the Skyactiv-X engines, as well as some models with the other types of engines, will receive at least light hybrid drives in 2019. A classic electric car will then come in 2020, and the plug-in hybrid will follow in 2021.
The new measures are thus aimed at achieving strict emission standards after 2020, when new RDE tests will take effect, based on data collected in actual traffic. Still, Guyton warns, electric cars will not prevail in Mazda's sales statistics in the near and medium-term, nor will they be designed to generate profits.