Will forgo large battery packs.
Gallery: Mazda e-TPV electric car prototype
The Japanese manufacturer already gave us a glimpse of what it intends to do with the electric car with a prototype – the e-TPV, which is based on the CX-30. If you expect to see an electric crossover resembling this, you might be disappointed.
According to Mazda, the new EV is an entirely new design with a dedicated and exclusive platform. The e-TPV has a small battery pack of only 35.5 kWh. To put that into context, it has the exact same size as the one found in the Honda E.
Although the Japanese company is calling it the Mazda-EV so far, as you can see in the video above, it is more likely to be a PHEV. At least if we take the e-TPV as the standard it will follow.
The new Mazda PHEV will have a rotary engine as its internal combustion unit. At least this is what the carmaker told the journalists that drove the e-TPV. The current press release doesn't go very deep into details. Here's everything the company said:
“Mazda Motor Corporation will showcase the world premiere of its first mass-production battery electric vehicle at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show.
A completely new model, the EV will be the third installment in the automaker's new-generation lineup. Developed in accordance with Mazda's human-centric philosophy and making full use of the benefits of electric drive technology, it offers performance drivers can enjoy effortlessly and whole-heartedly.”
And this is it.
For all the company has said so far, the best hope EV fans can have about this car is that it is an electric car with a range extender and, therefore, with a smaller battery pack than all its competitors. Much like what the BMW i3 once was.
It may not seem enough, but it may be more than enough for the Japanese market. Nissan has managed to make the Note be the best-selling vehicle there with an EV that cannot even be plugged in. It uses the ePower system, which produces electricity with the help of an internal combustion engine working in optimal conditions.
That is probably what Mazda now aims to repeat. If this car becomes big in its home market, it may also be well-received elsewhere.