Mazda will continue to eschew electric and hybrid technology in Europe and concentrate on improving the efficiency of its range of petrol and diesel engines. Combined with more light-weight technologies in its cars, it will see improvements in fuel economy figures of between 20 and 30% according to Mazda Europe boss, Jeff Guyton.
“I think there’s at least 20-30% better fuel economy by the end of the decade,” said Guyton. “We expect to achieve the [EU’s] 95g/km target without any significant deployment of electrical drive.”
However, Guyton didn’t rule out any form of electrification in the future, with Mazda already selling a hybrid Mazda 3 in Japan that uses tech from the Toyota Prius. “We are interested in electric technology and it will be in the distant future when it will be quite important,” he said. “But we think it will take some time to be commercially attractive without tax payer-funded incentives.
Guyton also warned that Governments should take a broader approach to calculating a car’s CO2 output rather than just measuring what comes out of the exhaust. “Eventually somebody needs to reflect on the fact that with most electric vehicles, there’s a big tailpipe – it’s just not on the car, it’s back in a power station some place. That might have benefits at a location, but from a CO2 standpoint we think it’s quite likely we have a well-to-wheel CO2 [in our cars] that’s the equivalent of an electric vehicle.”
A further 30% improvement in efficiency could see cars like the Mazda 2 drop from 89g/km to as little as 63g/km of CO2 and claim well over 100mpg. The additional saving will be made by advanced engine technology and further weight saving.
“We are very passionate about weight,” said Guyton. “Weight reduces driving fun and efficiency. If you can focus on weight reduction at an affordable price, the car can be more fun to drive and have fuel economy benefits.
“We think that avoiding the addition of weight and cost of hybrid systems we can bypass the two steps back and take three steps forward – we can just take one forward.”
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