Mazda Exec Says EVs Aren’t The Only Answer

3 months ago by Mark Kane 66

Mazda Demio EV prototype in Japan several years ago

Robert Davis – senior vice president special assignments for Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) has simple answer to EVs: “He isn’t buying them”.

Robert T. Davis is senior vice president special assignments for Mazda North American Operations (MNAO)

Well, we already knew that Mazda isn’t much interested in the electrification…considering the zero plug-in offerings one can find at your local Mazda dealer (the first BEV is expected in 2019, with a “new-tech” Sky-Activ PHEV to arrive in 2021), but the aversion to EVs when the plug-in market is growing so strong, is beyond understanding.

Davis believes that “impending death of the internal combustion engine is overrated.” and is critical about the way manufacturers introduces compliance EVs (Fiat 500e for example).

““We all breathe the same air, and it makes the most sense for every car to be as efficient as it can be. Making a couple of super efficient models to offset others really doesn’t make sense to us at Mazda. We just don’t build cars that way.”” Davis says via Automotive News

Davis (and Mazda) today is focused on internal combustion engines (even diesel options), but nonetheless are being forced into the plug-in vehicles nonetheless with changing regulations in the US and around the world.

Another strange concern centered around lithium-ion batteries was their recycling – “because EV batteries cannot be recycled as easily as cellphone batteries”.

source: Automotive News

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66 responses to "Mazda Exec Says EVs Aren’t The Only Answer"

  1. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

    Mazda to be dead in 7 years.

    1. mx says:

      Yes. You could make that statement if you’re not tracking battery improvement rates. And if you’re not doing that, you’re dead.

    2. ModernMarvelFan says:

      “Mazda to be dead in 7 years.”

      As much as I disagree with Mazda’s comment, your comment certainly fits your login name well.

      And if you are wrong, would you promise to stop trolling here?

      1. SparkEV says:

        ModernMarvelFan, something is clearly up with you. You should see somebody before it’s too late.

        1. ModernMarvelFan says:

          Yeah, I am fed up with trolls and trolls that support the President on his trolling..

          Sometimes, I think you are part of that trolling group too.

          1. SparkEV says:

            Can’t tell if you’re Dump support or not. But the latest news is that his team is disintegrating and support waning. For me, someone who thinks of passing (president) Dump as I sit on the throne in the morning, things are looking up, and hopeful that more good news will be coming (impeach or quit)

      2. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

        C’mon MMF, you know it’s in the name.
        I will admit I was wrong if I am, that is if we remember that far back in the future……lol

        1. ModernMarvelFan says:

          I will remember for sure.

          But apparently you can’t even admit that you were wrong 7 months ago.

          Of course, you can always just change your login name and post some crazy stuff again in the future.

    3. SJC says:

      Mazda just did a deal with Toyota to make EVs. This is like BMW years ago saying you don’t need EVs because they did not have any YET.

    4. ffbj says:

      Probably, at least on life support, and then the ironic debate will be to pull the plug, or not.

      1. ModernMarvelFan says:

        Not saying that Mazda isn’t being shortsighted. But facts remain that 7 years claim is just silly.

        1. Mazda is still growing in sales with their niche offering.

        2. Mazda is the ONLY company that meets CAFE requirement with using a single hybrid or EV.

        3. Mazda is still small enough that it won’t be subject for ZEV requirement by CARB for a while.

        4. European and Chinese markets are both relatively small for Mazda.

        5. Mazda has partnered with Toyota to ride on its back for any future PEV leverage so it has “hedged” its bets.

        All of those are facts that will more likely to support the point that Mazda won’t be dead in 7 years. That doesn’t mean Mazda won’t be in trouble 10 to 20 years from now. But at least in the near future, they are more than okay to survive it.

        On top of it all, typical car in the US is near 11 years and average length of new car ownership is about 5.5 years. Both shows that it is unlikely that “hyperbole” of 7 years will come true.

        1. Paul Schlueter says:

          Mazda Doesn’t sell trucks.

  2. Gerhard Hauer says:

    You shouldnt judge people by their looks, but if THIS guy would be one to support BEVs and Vegan lifestyle …..

    AND good Luck to Mazda, they will need it.

  3. L'amata says:

    A PICTURE SAYS 1000 WORDS..Just take a look at the guy, that says it all. He , I am sure is sitting on his brains , no wonder he Thinks/speaks like he does. ICE is “Clunker technology” ..Get over it & move forward !

    1. Derek says:

      He’s a over the hill, over weight, white guy…? Were not connecting the same dots.

      1. Miggy says:

        What have you got against white guys?
        Why would it matter what color your skin is?

  4. Ash09 says:

    You know, Blockbuster Video dismissed Netflix as well, pretty much claiming that nobody wants DVD by mail, or internet streaming.

    Same thing with Kodak and digital cameras.

    Let’s see what happens in a few years with Mazda if they fail to release a compelling plug-in car while other automakers do.

    1. ModernMarvelFan says:

      “Blockbuster Video dismissed Netflix as well”

      Because people loved “UNLIMITED” DVD choices for a flat fee.

      If blockbuster had done the same, it wouldn’t have collapsed so fast…

      Of course, the business model of the Netflix is inherently lower cost than brick/mortar stores that cost a lot in terms of space and labor.

    2. L'amata says:

      Ironically …, Kodak invented the 1st digital camera & thought nothing would ever come of it & more or less shelved it thinking that no body would ever buy it . l o l or is it.. C O L… for KODAK

  5. Alan says:

    The reason you only see the top half of this guy is because he has been dragging his feet so much they have worn down to his massive waist !

  6. Get Real says:

    Would you trust this guy to sell you a used car???

    1. Alan says:

      I wouldn’t trust him with my lunch !

  7. Mil says:

    Screw Mazda! The quicker they go bankrupt the better.

  8. offib says:

    It’s a shame such a wonderful company is leading itself into redundancy.

    Best and most likely scenario? Toyota buys operating share of Mazda before 2030, and use rehashed version of their plug-in priuses.

    Not exactly a good best case scenario.

  9. Someone out there says:

    Just plain no. With this attitude Mazda is not going to make it for long.

  10. JR says:

    I have own 3 Mazda in my life before I gone electric, 2 x 323 and one 121 all was great cars, but this back leaning attitude, will mean no future for this company!

  11. Didier says:

    Can somebody explains me why a cell phone battery would be easier to recycle than a car battery ? I do not see the logic…

    They are much more kWh of phone batteries in the world, and for me their dissemination makes recycling definitively more difficult than for EV batteries. Furthermore a EV battery can have a second live in a stationary battery before being recycled.

    I think the point is more that most phone batteries end in a trash basket, so OK it is “easy”. It is quite logic for a man who is producing only ICE car since such cars send all the pollution in the air…

    1. Dr. Miguelito Loveless says:

      More and more state and local governments are making recycling mandatory, like recycling car batteries is mandatory, and has been for several decades now.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Didier asked:

      “Can somebody explains me why a cell phone battery would be easier to recycle than a car battery ? I do not see the logic…”

      The only thing I can think of, and I certainly won’t claim there’s any logic there, is the stories about opening up a Tesla battery pack. Those packs are very well sealed, and opening the case is somewhat difficult and time-consuming.

      But of course that’s a ridiculous argument, because any shop set up to do that on a regular basis would quickly figure out a fast and efficient method of opening one up.

      Looks to me like he’s grasping at straws for a “sour grapes” argument.

      1. needa says:

        Nothing ‘fast and efficient’ about unscrewing a hundred bolts, peeling off a metal top that is not meant to be peeled off. Draining and disposing of coolants. Ripping apart the modules, separating the electronics, ripping off all of the soldering tabs, etc.
        Then you have the rigid outer shell and such to deal with on the 18650s. It is most definitely a longer process.

  12. SparkEV says:

    We need to implement new emissions rule: all exhaust pipes must be in front of the car directly feeding the cabin vent. When people taste the exhaust of their own cars, which they can do something about, rather the the car in front of them, which they can’t do nothing, they will switch to EV.

    This is a way to make them pay for dumping poison gas; behind means free dumping, in front means some cost.

    Free poison gas dumping SUCKS!

    1. Mark.ca says:

      You’re a bit out there with your line of thinking but that would be an interesting experiment. It would deeply affect future human behavior.

    2. needa says:

      Well lets at least have an EV or two worth owning to choose from, first.
      ie. Bring this up in three to five years.

  13. Dan Frederiksen says:

    As much as he is an idiot, he is just the local sales rep, he makes no decisions in the home office where the idiocy is seemingly slowly turning into dread.
    Mazda what are you going to do when Tesla introduces a revised 3 at 1.15ton and CD of 0.195 costing 25000$ with same range and even quicker base acceleration of 4.5seconds.

    Bad boys bad boys, whachu gonna do.

  14. Lawrence says:

    Sad truth is by the time Mazda realizes that this guy is clueless and fires him, his incompetence would already have them a decade behind everyone else.

  15. Dave86 says:

    Mazda could very well be one of those car companies that doesn’t survive the transition to electrification.

    The exec, Robert T. Davis, is probably just saying what Japan wants him to say so he can keep his job. For all we know, he might have 3 kids he’s trying to put through college right now.

  16. TheOtherTroll says:

    You guys thick or something.

    Phev is still expensive and still favors those who Owns their own place. Good luck convincing your landlord/Strata making a plugin spot just for you.

    When the next speed3/speed6 comes out, all you boys will forget about this conversation, posers.

    1. Mark.ca says:

      Oh, look…it’s the other troll! Why would your landlord not have access to electricity? what do you mean just for you? Every carport or garage has electricity.

  17. Soakee says:

    The arrogance of EV fans is one reason why an electric car will never be in my driveway.

    1. John says:

      And jerks like you are why I smile every time I drive by the pump.

      1. G2 says:

        I ‘miss’ gas pumps, every one 😄😄

        1. John says:

          I wish I could afford a Model S…but I can’t.
          So I’ve got a Volt. As such, I do *occasionally* have to visit a gas pump. It’s twice (maybe 3X?) a year. It’s incredible how annoying that extra step has become. It’s giant inconvenience to have to GO somewhere just to refuel. It is SO much easier just to plug in when I get home.

      2. ffbj says:

        I think we can extrapolate from the increased frequency of troll attacks that the legacy car companies are in a heap of trouble. Literally & figuratively.
        So it’s just another indicator of how really worried they are. With fewer young people driver, older people, the boomers, driving less, and inventories pilling up to the sky.

        Just the commercials on T.V. are so frantic, with msrp’s offered 8k off. Panic is setting in.

        1. Get Real says:

          You are correct ffbj.

          On virtually all the EV/Cleantech forums there is an upswing in trolls unimaginatively cutting and pasting/posting the same anti-EV FUD.

          I even found the same I’m not going to get an EV because you people are arrogant! line over on Electrek today by a poser/poster with the username Bugs Bunny!

          Same dead-ender trolls coming here probably.

        2. John says:

          I work down the road from Koch Enterprises. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if they had an off-the-books FUD department devoted to this kind of crap.

          1. Mark.ca says:

            They wouldn’t be the first or the last ones to try.

    2. G2 says:

      Unless you are getting really old, that is a statement you will eventually regret, since ICE economics will be prohibitive in a decade or two.

    3. ffbj says:

      That’s a fine reason. Well thought out, with logic and a depth of statistical analysis bordering on genius.(Not).

    4. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      So, if you’re not interested in EVs, why are you reading and posting here?

      You must be very worried about the fact that EVs will soon make gasmobiles obsolete, or you wouldn’t troll a forum for EV fans to express your hostility.

  18. HVACman says:

    Mazda is probably still devoting all it’s R&D to perfecting the Wankel engine.

    1. philip d says:

      They had the right idea with the rotary motion. Just replace the combustion part with a much higher rpm 3-phase electric motor and then they’re really on to something.

  19. TheOtherTroll says:

    Lol, i am not anti EV. I was going to reserve a Model 3,but i rent. Within reach 30Ampd charging isnt available and i drive plenty so that option was out the door. I am waiting for EV to become mainstream. Right now EV is still the optional vehicle for the wealthy.

    Side note, i wouldnt listen to Mazda Vice President. You should ask Product Planning. But you wouodnt get anything out of it as most things are confidential. Its only how long since Mazda Parted from Ford, and its a gloable market. Its reasonable they dont expand into option not financially feasible.

    1. TheOtherTroll says:

      Here to hope oil market crash once model 3 delivery reaches 200,000 customer

  20. TheOtherTroll says:

    Pardon the spelling, swiftkey doesnt work so well on pixel xl

  21. Vishnu Rao says:

    Anyone know how Mazda gets away with having no compliance car in California?

    Isn’t it mandatory for every car manufacturer to sell a certain percentage of their cards in the zero emissions category?

    1. TheOtherTroll says:

      So this is where it gets interesting, Mazda Japan said its coming in 2019 to meet the req for ZEV back in 2016.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “Anyone know how Mazda gets away with having no compliance car in California?”

      My guess is that there is a threshold of sales, and that if you’re below that you don’t have to comply.

      Auto makers with very low sales in California, such as Rolls-Royce, Ferrari, Aston Martin, and perhaps Mazda, probably don’t need to worry about making and selling compliance cars.

  22. Paul K says:

    Replay Replay! Toyota had no interest in BEVs for quite some time then changed their tune. Mazda will see the light in the next few years or disappear into the dark.

  23. Terawatt says:

    Loads of knee-jerk reactions here!

    His point about making a few efficient models (and a huge selection of very inefficient ones) is certainly a good one. I completely agree with that.

    But rejecting EVs and at the same time emphasizing that cars should be as efficient as possible is illogical. The most fundamental advantage of electric cars are exactly that they are three times as efficient as the most efficient fossil fueled alternatives.

    It’s not too late for Mazda to move. But it may be less pressured (by fleet emissions rules) than many of its competitors to move as soon as they must, precisely because it makes few highly inefficient cars. Remember that all the incumbents, despite their EV-related marketing efforts, still try to make and sell no more than they have to. Ironically, the makers of very polluting cars may therefore be pushed to position themselves better for the future than relatively “green” manufacturers.

    But it won’t be long before either the CEO’s attitude changes, or the board changes CEO. Before 2020 even the dimwits will see where things are headed and they’ll all have to start treating EVs as important for their business.

  24. PietroBietro says:

    Robert Davis still one of the Ford hack relics clinging tenaciously to his job. I wouldn’t take anything Davis or MNAO has to say as representing Mazda Motor in Japan.

    He doesn’t know what’s going on because in Japan, there has long been a Skyactiv Hybrid Mazda3. They’ve been resigned to EVs and Hybrids for many years, but the company feels that Hybrids should have the best ICE available as well. When they matched a special Skyactiv-2.0 with a varient of Toyota HSD, the results were very impressive, even showing the previous Prius up (in a car that drove significantly better).

    This is why Toyota wants to partner with Mazda for access to their patented IP while Mazda will reference Toyota hybrid IP for their own version of HSD.

    Davis is just an (ex-?)Ford hack parasite.

  25. Steven says:

    Dear Mazda,

    BEV’s may not be “the only solution”, but they are “a solution”.

    Tell you what, make a BEV Mazda 3 hatchback, sell it in Pennsylvania, and I will buy one.

    I know, I know, now I have to find 250,000 other people to buy one and you’ll get back to me.

  26. Alex a says:

    No discussion here about the Mazda efficient petrol engine?

    http://www.wired.co.uk/article/mazda-skyactiv-x-petrol-engine-diesel

    IMO this could push the “green” balance back towards the ICE, given the cost of producing electric cars and lithium batteries and the transmission losses etc.

  27. Don Zenga says:

    This type of man should be running Mitsubishi-USA as well, that’s why the Outlander-Plugin has been postponed over and over again.

    Mazda is not even trying Stop/Start system, why would they go for full electric vehicle. How are they going to sell in China next year, when every automaker is expected to sell at least 8 % of they vehicles as plugin.

  28. Me says:

    It’s a shame to hear this from them because they make, arguably, one of the best, low priced sports cars. I’d love to see an electric MX-5. As of right now, every single EV is either some weird looking thing (I3, Leaf) or boring sedan (Bolt, Teslas).

    I want a cool looking, BEV convertable that’s actually reasonably priced (i.e. much lower than the Model 3).

  29. ElectricFan01 says:

    I like Mazda, had a few.

    When external factors like:

    > London’s congestion charge, (Any city).
    > TCO, (Service costs, oil filters etc.)
    > Diesel (They are not selling as much)
    > hybrid efficiency (>40mpg)
    ..
    are applied to the market it will be pushed aside. It has to do something.

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