Mazda seems intent on exploring all aspects of alternative fuels, from diesels to fuel cell to pure electrics. The latest facet of this multi-pronged approached is an electric Mazda2 city car, coming to Japan in 2012.
We’ve covered Mazda’s diesel and fuel cell projects before, and the independent Japanese automaker remains a punky underdog. Rather than license the electric drive technology from Ford, who they used to have a close relationship with, Mazda is working on their own electric drive system, but will use an unnamed source for batteries. The driving range of these Mazda2 electrics would be about 124 miles per charge, and would sell for around 3 million yen, or $36,500, after government subsidies. Mazda could begin leasing the first round of electric vehicles as soon as spring of 2012.
This is a marked difference from earliest statements from Mazda, who seemed intent on improving the fuel efficiency of its gasoline and diesel models rather than develop electric or hybrid cars. Mazda still has a number of fuel efficient motors and cars on the way, but are they going to change their tune and start exploring electric cars more and more? I was hoping to get my hands on a hydrogen RX-8 myself, but that might remain a pipe dream for now.
Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to Hemis. You can follow his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout.