Mazda is hoping to introduce an all-electric vehicle to the US in the next few years.
The fleet of Mazda2 all-electric vehicles it provides to select Japanese lease customers aside, Mazda doesn't offer any EV passenger vehicles. This is set to change however as Chief Engineer Mitsuru Fujinaka has gone on record to say that the Japanese automaker is looking for regulatory approval in order for it to offer EVs to the US market, in particular California. "Sooner or later we will have these electric vehicles," he said. "At least by 2018 though we will try to do it earlier."
Having an electric vehicle that meets California's emissions guidelines is key, "otherwise we can't sell in California. That is the biggest reason for pursuing this," Fujinaka concluded. Currently under testing is the JDM Mazda Demio, which sports a 70kW electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack. The goal is to offer a vehicle with zero tailpipe emission and comparable performance to the regular 1.5-liter Demio aka Mazda 2. Thanks to around 148lb-ft of instant torque, the EV can sprint from 0-62mph in 10.7 seconds and hit a top speed of 87mph; it range is no more than 125 miles.
The prototypes can charge in just 30 minutes using a fast charge system, while using a 200-volt slow charge will take eight hours. The current Demio EV will remain a domestic vehicle, but all being well similar size successors will make their way stateside in the not-so-distant future.