This decision comes at a time when all vehicle manufacturers are changing strategies in order to adapt to the new global emissions regulations.
The carmaker currently does not produce an all-electric vehicle, however, it does sell a hybrid Mazda3 model that is exclusive to Japan.
Mazda’s decision follows its Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030 plan, that consists of the development of several electrical powertrains. The next vehicles to come out of this plan will be released in 2019 when the carmaker will also launch its SkyActiv-X engine.
The SkyActiv-X engine is considered to be a potential game-changer in terms of gasoline-powered vehicles, as it is the first compression ignition gasoline motor. This technology could potentially reduce fuel consumption of future Mazda vehicles(fossil fuel-powered cars, as well as hybrids), as the carmaker continues to move to electric vehicles.
Contrary to Mazda CEO Masamichi Kogai’s statement that fossil fuel vehicles will have a place alongside electric ones, the carmaker is reportedly mainly focusing on the development of electric powertrains.
While there may be a transition period when both diesel engines, as well as electrical ones, will be seen on the road, this will likely only last for a decade or two, until electric vehicles become more affordable and reliable.
The company also launched its new diesel-powered CX-8 three-row crossover, on Thursday. Unfortunately, this model is also exclusively sold in Japan. As for the United States, Mazda will introduce its Skyactiv-D engine in the CX-5 crossover.
If the rumors regarding the development of electrified vehicles are true, then Mazda will be one of the several companies that have started on this path. A similar decision was taken by the Volvo Car Group, who stated that its new 2019 models will be at least partially electric.
The EV market is slowly growing, partially due to increasingly severe emission regulations, but also as a result of the recent developments in terms of energy storage and high-efficiency electric motors. Most carmakers find themselves forced to either adapt to the new direction in which the whole world is heading or risk going out of business.