This decision could come back to bite Mazda in the very near future.
There’s no denying that, generally speaking, electric cars are a significantly greener solution than ICE-powered vehicles. However, that statement largely depends on the ways of producing electric energy, which is varies in different regions of the world. With that said, Mazda believes internal combustion engines still make more sense in terms of CO2 emissions than EVs.
Speaking with CarAdvice at the Los Angeles Auto Show, Ichiro Hirose, Mazda’s managing executive officer of powertrain development, revealed the company remains committed to gasoline engines and ICEs will continue to be its main focus.
“Each region and market has different methods of electricity generation,” he told the publication. “So we have to look at how the electricity is generated in each region. In some regions, it might be clean, so EVs are a good fit. But in other regions, due to power and electricity generation methods, ICE engines may have more advantage in terms of emissions. When we think about the goal of CO2 reductions, I think there are still more regions that ICE is a better fit, so I think for the time being we should still focus on ICE.”
Hirose believes modern gas units still can get plenty of improvements that can make them up to 30 percent more efficient than they are now. Diesels won’t be left behind, too. The Japanese automaker believes the compression ignition engine has a future and is actively working on advanced technologies to make it even better and more efficient.“Actually for the diesel engines, we are also continuously working on that in order to achieve the ideal diesel engine,” Hirose commented. “Especially these days, SUVs are quite popular – that means vehicles are bigger and heavier, for those types of vehicles, in terms of reducing CO2, diesel engines still have the advantage... no plans to phase out diesel.”
Mazda is not committed only to traditional gasoline and diesel engines as it was recently announced the manufacturer is bringing back the rotary engine. It won’t power a sexy two-door coupe but will act as a range-extender.