Mazda recently revealed its first battery-electric model, the MX-30. While the headline was that Mazda finally has an EV, it was quickly followed up with questions regarding the MX-30’s small battery pack, which is going to significantly impact its overall range.
The MX-30 sports a 35.5-kWh pack, powered with cells from Panasonic. To put that into perspective, the Hyundai Kona Electric has a 64-kWh pack, despite being similar in size to the MX-30.
Mazda says the MX-30 will be good for about 125 miles of range under the European drive cycle, but Mazda is fine with it coming in under the competition. In a recent interview with Automotive News Mazda Europe President and CEO Yasuhiro Aoyama confirmed the company built the MX-30 for urban and suburban customers who have smaller daily commutes.
The trade off here is the fact that Mazda was able to keep the weight down on the MX-30 versus competition. In fact, the company kept the MX-30’s weight to about 3,700 pounds, considerably less than most vehicles powered exclusively by a battery pack.
Keeping the weight down has allowed Mazda engineers to ensure the MX-30 drives and feels like a Mazda vehicle versus an EV; a guiding principle that often leads Mazda to make decisions other OEMs avoid.
Aoyama states Mazda has no plans to add a larger battery to the MX-30, despite the fact he confirms the platform can support a larger pack. Instead, Mazda will be adding a small gas-powered rotary engine as a power generator in the future. This will give the MX-30 considerable more range, but by way of hybrid power instead of additional cells.
The Mazda MX-30 will go on sale in Europe this summer.