Mazda’s first EV in North America, the MX-30 crossover, went on sale exclusively in California in September and only managed to convince 120 people to buy it as of December 1, 2021.
The reviews have mostly negative, with many journalists labeling it a compliance car due to its EPA range of only 100 miles. In light of the disappointing driving range, the starting MSRP of $33,470 (before the $1,225 destination charge and federal tax credit) was also deemed too steep by some reviewers.
Mazda was probably hoping the Canadian market would be more welcoming for the MX-30, which has been available at select dealerships in British Columbia and Quebec since October. Unfortunately, Mazda Canada only sold 73 units in October and 44 in November, for a total of just 117 vehicles.
In a recent article from Automotive News Canada, a local Mazda representative defends the MX-30’s range with a rather unusual argument. Mark Peyman, Mazda Canada’s national manager for product and electrification strategy, expects the MX-30 will appeal to urban buyers with access to a second vehicle, mainly serving as an eco-friendly way to get to and from work or the grocery store.
Gallery: 2022 Mazda MX-30: First Drive
“We come to market with a vehicle like the MX-30 that has a smaller battery, a smaller footprint environmentally and still meets the range needs of 80 per cent-plus of the consumers that will probably use this. We’ve found through research that many of these individuals have additional cars in their households that are for longer range.”
That’s not something you hear that often, and the truth is not everyone can afford owning two cars. Not to mention that the likelihood of that second vehicle having an ICE is quite high. It’s certainly an unusual way of promoting an EV.
Mazda Canada expects the MX-30 to sway buyers with its sporty driving traits and premium quality, despite the significantly lower range than similarly priced rivals. For example, the Hyundai Kona Electric offers an estimated range of 415 kilometers (258 miles) compared to the MX-30’s 161 km (100 miles).
Mazda has allocated 700 MX-30s for British Columbia and Quebec for 2022 and believes this volume will fulfill demand in the first year. A plug-in hybrid MX-30 with a range-extending internal-combustion electric-generator engine is set to arrive in Canada in late 2022 and will be sold nationally. Peyton believes the PHEV variant will solve the MX-30's range problem.
“Step one is to focus on these urban environments and people that do want a more environmentally conscious choice with the full battery electric. Step two, this [plug-in hybrid model] could conceivably be somebody’s only vehicle, so it’s just a step further out.”