LISBON -- Mazda is counting on its first mass-market electric vehicle, the MX-30 compact crossover, to lower fleet emissions enough to allow the automaker to avoid or reduce EU fines in 2020-21.
The MX-30, which will begin deliveries next summer in Europe, challenges some of the common wisdom about electrification.
First and foremost, it comes with a relatively small 35.5 kilowatt hour battery pack, which helps to hold down overall weight to about 1,700 kg. That has a positive effect on driving dynamics, but at the same time limits its range to about 200 km, less than direct competitors such as the Hyundai Kona.
Those figures are preliminary, as Mazda hopes to complete the European homologation by March and announce official figures at the MX-30’s European debut at the Geneva auto show. Prices are expected to start at about 35,000 euros.
The MX-30 is a critical vehicle for Mazda in Europe, as the automaker risks paying fines if it cannot meet its target for the EU fleet average of 95 g/km of CO2, starting in 2020.
“We will have to sell as many battery-electric vehicles as possible so that we can reduce our potential of facing a CO2 penalty,” Mazda Europe President and CEO Yasuhiro Aoyama told Automotive News Europe in an interview in November.
Aoyama said that Mazda could face emissions penalties in 2020 because the company is just starting the transition to electrification, but he added that it is too soon to predict if that risk also extends to 2021.