With so much competition among electric vehicles in the market, Mazda is surely taking a risk by sticking to a rather modest 35.5 kWh battery pack for the MX-30. The reason behind Mazda’s decision – to keep the overall CO2 emission footprint as low as possible.
The director at Mazda Europe’s R&D center, Christian Schultze, claims that the CO2 emission footprint of the 35.5 kWh battery with battery production and disposal even after the replacement after 100,000 miles, is comparable to the diesel Mazda 3 hatchback. Schultze also described in an interview how a 95 kWh battery pack would have a substantially higher CO2 emission.
Mazda has backed up their claims by some incomplete graphs which shows that larger battery packs have more CO2 emission footprint than smaller battery packs; however, a study from the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) claims otherwise.
The study by ICCT clearly states that “An electric vehicle’s higher emissions during the manufacturing stage are paid off after only 2 years compared to driving an average conventional vehicle, a time frame that drops to about one and a half years if the car is charged using renewable energy.”Source
The Mazda MX-30 EV is expected to come out by early 2020 and shows off a sportier look with forward-opening rear doors, a tapered tail, and a sleek roofline. The electronic vehicle features a 105 kW electric motor that powers the front wheels and provides a horsepower of 143 and a torque of 195 pound-feet. Also, the EV provides its customers with an increased Regen braking system via steering wheel paddles and a 35.5 kWh battery with about 150 miles of range. The car is expected to go on sale in Europe for about $40,000.
Although any EV below the range of 200 miles is considered a thing of the past, however, Mazda MX-30’s aligns with the upcoming Honda e with an identically-sized battery pack. The new Mini Copper SE comes in with an even smaller battery pack of 32.6 kWh followed by BMW i3 with a slightly bigger battery pack of 42 kWh. Hyundai Kona EV is the only EV with a 60 kWh variant available in the U.S and a 39.3 kWh variant available in Europe.
When EV proponents raised their concerns about the 150-mile range of MX-30 for European urban dwellers, the Mazda Europe Chief Yasuhiro Aoyama said that the company based the size of the battery according to the needs the target customers. The other factor that they based the size of the battery was taking the production of emission caused while driving as well as while production, which was calculated via a life-cycle assessment. After the assessment of both the factors, they found that the CO2 emission by a 35.5 kWh battery pack is similar to their diesel modes.
Aoyama also talked about the company’s plan to deploy a rotary engine based range extender to the vehicle to increase the range of the EV.
According to a study conducted by Mazda, the urban and suburban customers in Europe drives about 25 miles a day on average, so the battery size must not be an issue and is the customers do need to drive a longer distance then they can go for the MX-30 with a range-extending engine.
The company does not plan to bring the Mazda MX-30 in the U.S. for sale, but Aoyama said that the introduction of the EV to America is also not a complete a no-no. “Given the importance of minimizing CO2 penalties, we will start selling it in Europe first. As far as other countries are concerned, we are still in a study phase.”