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Mazda brings back its famous rotary engine as EV Range-Extender.

Hybrid and electric vehicles have been underway for several manufacturers for several years, but surprisingly, it seems that the senior managers at Mazda have ignored this hot trend and to focus on the optimization of its combustion engines. In short, electrification was not in the priorities.

 

It is true that Mazda's recent SKYACTIV technologies have helped reduce emissions and fuel consumption in its global market, and Mazda is also preparing to introduce its next generation of SKYACTIV-X engines. However, electrification, in fact, represents the future and the Japanese manufacturer has been repeatedly pointed out for being late. This is even truer in North America market, where Mazda has a unique love story.

 

Now, it is not surprising to discover that the Japanese carmaker decides to correct its error and announces its strategy of electrification. Better late than never. Mazda finally intends to market its first electric vehicles. According to Mazda, by 2030, 95% of vehicles sold by Mazda will be electrified in some forms, the remaining 5% will be 100% electric. The result of these will help Mazda reduce CO2 emissions by half by the year 2030 compared to the 2010 levels.

 

The first hybrid model will arrive next year, followed in 2020 by a first electric model and a plug-in hybrid for 2021. The type of vehicle has not been specified, but the manufacturer has let us know that since the trend is in SUV, it's a safe bet that Mazda will focus on this segment. The first models will be designed entirely by Mazda design team, the futures will come from a new agreement of Mazda and Toyota.

 

Two 100% electric vehicles will soon be available including the one that, like the Chevrolet Volt and the BMW i3, will be equipped with a range extender to prolong the total driving range of the vehicle. The range extender would basically use Mazda's famous rotary engine, known for its compact size and high output power. According to Mazda's press release:

 

"The range-extender will recharge the battery when necessary to increase the vehicle's driving range, eliminating the range anxiety which continues to trouble a high percentage of battery EV users."

 

The latter will be placed horizontally rather than vertically as was the case with its application on the RX-7 and RX-8 models. In addition, the rotary engine has been engineered to use different fuels including gasoline initially, then biofuels in the future.

Photo Gallery of the Mazda rotary engine

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