By 2021, we will see what Mazda has in store.
Mazda has recently revealed an all-new spark-less gas engine that will miraculously be cleaner than electric cars. This engine will be a part of Mazda's new Skyactiv-X line of engines that should arrive in 2019 with the next-generation Mazda 3. Mazda said that this engine was so advanced, it would be the main focus of the company for the future. The company said it has no plans to build an EV model, but left the door open for a hybrid of some kind. Autocar reports that a plug-in hybrid Mazda will join the range starting in 2021.
The plug-in hybrid will be the last drivetrain to be added to the Skyactiv-X range. The first will be the aforementioned spark-less engine that will be 30 percent more fuel efficient than Mazda's current gas engines. The next will be a mild-hybrid drivetrain and an EV with a gasoline range extender that will be co-developed with Toyota. This news contradicts the report that Mazda would not build an EV, so we'll have to see what the company does here. Mazda did say that it wanted to build cars that still had a gasoline engine, so a range extender still technically qualifies. We won't see the plug-in hybrid Mazda until 2021, after the normal gas engine and mild hybrid models have already been introduced.
Mazda remains skeptical of EV technology because so much of the world's electricity grids are still powered by fossil fuels. The company realizes that spark ignition technology is reaching its limit, and the only way forward is to innovate and come up with something better. It sounds like Mazda is really ready to flip the industry on its head and dominate the gas engine segment.