It was no secret the Mazda MX-30 EV would eventually arrive in the U.S., but now Mazda is confirming details. The brand’s first EV model will arrive this fall as a 2022 model, but only a few U.S. consumers will be able to opt for this EV at launch.
Mazda will launch the full EV version of the MX-30 in California this fall. The brand says additional states will be added to the launch cadence in 2022, while a national rollout is still years out. This is a bit disappointing for buyers who are clamoring for the option of a Mazda EV. It isn’t entirely clear why Mazda is slow-rolling the launch, but this is a tactic other automakers used to take prior to the uptick in EV popularity.
The MX-30 the U.S. is getting is essentially identical to the one sold in Europe and Japan. This means there’s an electric motor that churns out 144 horsepower and 200 pound-feet of torque will power the front wheels. The motor is supplied power from a small 35.5-kWh battery pack, which offers 124 miles of range on the generous European WLTP test. Mazda isn’t setting any expectations when it comes to the MX-30’s EPA-rated range, but one can almost guarantee it will be less than 124 miles.
Given there’s a large array of battery-electric vehicles in the U.S. that offer significantly more range, it will be interesting to see how Mazda tries to gain buyers with the CX-30.
As part of today’s announcement, Mazda is also confirming the return of the rotary engine. The company says a plug-in hybrid variant of the MX-30 will launch in 2022 as a 2023 model. The hybrid variant will have a rotary engine that acts as a generator to charge the battery pack. Think of this powertrain layout similar to that of the former Chevrolet Volt.
Mazda says the revived rotary engine is “nearly silent” in operation and will give MX-30 buyers the benefits of an EV without the range anxiety. Indeed, this variant sounds more interesting than the pure EV.
A normal hybrid variant of the MX-30 is also expected, but no timeline has been offered for that variant.