Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Mazda Sets Up Electric Car Development Division


MITSUBISHI’S DOING IT, Subaru’s doing it and so is Daimler. Now Mazda has joined the ranks of automakers who’ve chosen to back all-electric power as the way of the future.

The Japanese company announced yesterday that it has established the Electric Drive System Development Office, which will be tasked with creating a new generation of electric powertrains for Mazda’s future eco-friendly lineup.

No word has been given as to when we’ll see the first Mazda EV hit the market, but the announcement demonstrates that Mazda is at least taking a serious look at electron-powered cars.


Back in April Mazda CEO Takashi Yamanouchi said that the company would offer both hybrid and all-electric vehicles by 2015, while the efficiency of existing fossil-fueled powerplants would also be improved in the interim. Precise details of what sort of cars will be the first to get the hybrid/EV treatment have yet to be released, but Yamanouchi did say that its new green lineup would be able to serve the needs of 90 percent of the car-buying public.

It’s unclear at this stage whether the automaker will continue to persevere with its hydrogen-fueled rotary powerplants, however with internal combustion hydrogen engines being much less efficient than hydrogen fuel cells, odds are electric power will take over as the new darling of Mazda’s green initiatives.