This could give the Mazda MX-30 a better chance of coming to America.
Revealed at the 2019 Tokyo Auto Show last October, the Mazda MX-30 marks the Japanese automaker's belated first foray into the world of battery-electric vehicles. The MX-30 uses Mazda's new e-Skyactiv powertrain combining an electric motor generating 143 horsepower with a 35.5kWh lithium-ion battery. This setup enables the electric crossover to deliver a WLTP-rated driving range of around 124 miles.
That may sound like a low range compared to its competitors, but Mazda prioritized preserving the battery pack's lifecycle to make the MX-30 more efficient. Its rugged design also helps it stand out from the crowd. So far, the Mazda MX-30 is only available with a fully electric powertrain, but Autoblog Japan claims another variant is coming.
According to the Japanese publication, the Mazda MX-30 will also be offered as a mild hybrid, combining Mazda's Skyactiv-G 2.0 gasoline engine with its "M Hybrid" mild hybrid system. This setup is also offered on the Mazda CX-30, which shares the same platform as the fully electric MX-30, outside of America and produces 180 horsepower. The mild-hybrid version of the Mazda MX-30 is expected to launch in Japan later this year in the fall.
Mazda still hasn't confirmed if the MX-30 will go on sale in the US, but the mild-hybrid version has a better chance of coming to America than the fully electric version.
With only 130 miles of range, the Mazda MX-30 would struggle to compete against the Chevrolet Bolt and Hyundai Kona EV, which both offer over 250 miles of range. Mazda is considering adding a rotary engine range extender to the MX-30, however, which would improve the range without having to increase the size of the battery and sacrifice its efficiency.
Mazda has already experimented with using a rotary engine as a range extender. Back in 2013, a Mazda 2 EV prototype used a 330 cc single-rotor Wankel rotary engine as a range extender, enabling an electric driving range of 236 miles.