It seems like Mazda will be very late to the EV segment.
While it doesn't offer any hybrids or electric vehicles, Mazda is the most fuel-efficient car company in the US simply because it doesn't sell any trucks or engines larger than a four-cylinder. This strategy may be working fine over here, but it is about to catch up with the company in Europe where emission laws are more strict.
Automotive News Europe reports that Mazda will be forced to pay European Union fines for failing to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Mazda CEO Akira Marumoto told reporters the fines are related to the company's high proportion of SUV sales.
To avoid further penalties, Mazda will have to speed up its introduction of hybrids and EVs. The company has plans to electrify its entire lineup by 2035, including mild-hybrid versions of its core models as soon as 2019. Mazda also plans to introduce a pure EV and a range-extender model with a rotary engine by 2020.
By 2030, 95% of Mazda's lineup is expected to consist of electrified hybrids while the other 5% is made up of EVs. Clearly, with no hybrids or EVs in its current lineup, Mazda has a long way to go to reach these goals.
Mazda is planning to reveal a new Mazda3 with a revolutionary new sparkless ignition engine at the 2018 LA Auto Show, which may partially help solve the company's emission issues. As of now, Mazda and its rivals are on the hook to pay 14 billion euros ($16 billion) to the EU should they fail to comply with strict emissions regulations that are set to be introduced in 2020 and in full force by 2021.
Mazda says it has already set aside 10 billion yen ($88 million) to pay the fines for this year. While other companies already have established hybrid and EV lineups, Mazda will need to play catchup in order to avoid fines and be competitive with other automakers.