Mazda has announced that it will launch 13 new electrified models in the next four years, spread across hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and full EVs.
The move, somewhat ironically, sees Mazda lean on its relationship with Toyota. It will use the latter’s renowned hybrid system in certain vehicles. It also plans to unite with Toyota and Subaru in the development of next-gen in-vehicle communication.
The firm hopes to approach the lofty task in a streamlined manner. By 2025 it aims to have launched a new scalable architecture built specifically for EVs of many shapes and sizes. These are in addition to the hybrids and plug-in hybrids it has in store for customers.
According to Senior Managing Executive Officer Ichiro Hirose, Mazda aims to do its own development of pure EV mechanicals — utilising its relationship with Toyota for hybrids only.
There are numerous end-goals Mazda named overnight as part of its announcement. Its range is set to be fully electrified by 2030 (with no pure internal combustion vehicles left on the table), and by 2050 it hopes to be carbon neutral.
Beyond the electrification news, there’s lots of interesting little nuggets in the Mazda release. These include the firm’s hopes to introduce Mobility as a Service (MaaS) functionality in future vehicles.
In brief, MaaS is the philosophy behind brands who are pushing for cars to be offered to customers on a subscription basis, not dissimilar to what Volkswagen has discussed in the past.
Over-the-air update capability is also on the horizon, as is something Mazda calls ‘Mazda Co-Pilot’ — a driver assistance system that monitors drivers in perpetuity. Should the driver’s “physical condition” suddenly change, the system takes over driving duties with autonomous driving.
“Mazda aims to become a brand that creates special bonds with customers by enriching their lives with an experience of car ownership that provides joy of driving, the pure essence of cars,” says the release.
The announcement could be read by some as being slightly at odds with the brand’s previous statements around SkyActiv-X, inline-six engines that are still on the way, and the tone of preserving combustion engines.
For what it’s worth, the announcement noted both SkyActiv-X and its inline-six programme, saying that future models with these powertrains will get an electrified hybrid kick.