Mazda, one of the few manufacturers to stay out of the hybrid car craze, has announced they will raise over $1 billion for hybrid research by issuing 315.2 million shares of their stock. As someone who questions the practicality of hybrids, this news is rather disappointing to me personally. You might call me a “hybrid hater.”
But what about hydrogen, Mazda? Le sigh…
Look at the current Mazda lineup and you’ll find a single hybrid, the Tribute SUV which is a carbon-copy of the Ford Escape Hybrid. That will all change by the mid 20-teens, as the Japanese automaker tries to raise capital to improve its own hybrid research. They had announced earlier this year to pursue hybrids in the future, and this financing plan is the opening salvo.
However, this is a bit of a mind-boggler to me, as the highly-successful Ford Fusion Hybrid is based on the Mazda6 architecture. Even though Ford sold its 30% stake in Mazda earlier this year to raise its own capital, the two automakers pledged to continue their decades-old close partnership. If that is the case, why doesn’t Mazda just license Ford’s hybrid system?
But the bigger problem is that Mazda is one of the few large automakers to make serious headway in the hydrogen car field. Take for example their hydrogen-powered RX-8, which will be among the first cars to cross Norway’s proposed hydrogen-highway. Why not spend that billion bucks and separate from the herd instead of accepting the group mentality? Hybrids are the easy way out, dammit.
I do approve of Mazda’s goal of reducing their fleet emissions output by 30%, but the journey is just as important as the destination, no? I might be a bit premptively pessimistic about this, but I’m just tired of hybrids being touted as the answer. I’m ready for something… better, something different.
Source: Left Lane News