Mazda announced today a major update to its Mid-Term Management Plan and basic management policies up to 2030, which is now more electrifying than ever.
The Japanese company said that it recognizes the significant changes that have occurred in the business environment and intends to accelerate its electrification efforts.
Mazda outlined a plan to become carbon neutral worldwide by 2035 and its updated electrification strategy through 2030, which is based on three phases:
- Phase 1 (2022-2024): Enhance technology development for the age of electrification
- Phase 2 (2025-2027): Transition to electrification
- Phase 3 (2028-2030): Full-scale launch of BEVs
(all models to be electrified)
For Mazda, it's important to electrify its lineup gradually and flexibly so in the first phase the company will use multiple electrification technologies - from internal combustion engine cars, to hybrids, plug-in hybrids, range-extenders, and battery-electric cars.
During the second phase, Mazda will introduce a few new things, including a new hybrid system, EV-dedicated vehicles for the Chinese market, and the launch of battery EV vehicles globally (in the second half of this phase).
The third phase is crucial because it will bring the full-fledged launch of battery EVs from Mazda. The company forecasts that in 2030, battery-electric car sales (globally) will be between 25% and 40% of its total volume (up from 25% expected previously).
Some might be disappointed that Mazda is not going 100% electric by 2030 (like, for example, Volvo), but it seems that the company is gradually changing its course.
There is a new scalable EV architecture, which will become the foundation for probably several new global all-electric models.
Currently, Mazda's plug-in lineup is rather small, with the Mazda MX-30 BEV, Mazda CX-60 PHEV (over 20,000 sold in Europe so far).
Next year, it will be joined by the Mazda MX-30 R-EV (a version with a range-extender). More plug-ins will be introduced in the following years.
An interesting element of the new strategy is that Mazda might engage in EV battery production.
Mazda said that, in addition to its existing suppliers, it signed an agreement with Envision AESC related to battery supply for EVs produced in Japan.
In the third phase (2028-2030), the company will "consider investing in battery production," which indicates the possibility of a battery joint venture. There is no word about the potential battery partner.
"Mazda will continue to procure batteries from its partner companies. In addition to our existing suppliers, Mazda recently concluded an agreement with Envision AESC to procure batteries for electric vehicle production in Japan. In the medium term as we will be launching additional battery electric models, Mazda will consider possibilities to invest in battery production."
Another major thing is that Mazda announced new partnerships for the development and production of highly efficient electric drive units (composed of an electric motor, inverter containing SiC power semiconductors, and a reduction gear).
The list of partners includes Imasen Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., Ondo Corporation, Chuo Kaseihin Co., Inc., Hiroshima Aluminum Industry Co., Ltd., HIROTEC Corporation, Fukuta Electric & Machinery Co., Ltd. and ROHM Co., Ltd.
Mazda already established a few new joint venture companies:
- MHHO Electric Drive Co., Ltd.
(Ondo 30%, Hiroshima Aluminum Industry 30%, HIROTEC 30%, Mazda 10%)
Development of highly-efficient production technology for electric drive units that makes maximum use of existing assets; establishment of systems required for the production and supply of electric drive units
- Mazda Imasen Electric Drive Co., Ltd.
(Imasen Electric Industrial 50%, Mazda 50%)
Development of inverters for vehicles and other technology related to electric drive units, development of production technology
- MCF Electric Drive Co., Ltd.
(Mazda 50%, Fukuta Electric & Machinery 40%, Chuo Kaseihin 10%)
Development of advanced technology for electric vehicle motors
Framework for the development and production of the electric drive units
According to Reuters, Mazda's new EV plan will cost up to 1.5 trillion yen ($10.6 billion):
"Senior managing executive officer Akira Koga told reporters the 1.5 trillion yen ($10.6 billion) investment would be made along with its partners and would be used for research and development. The news was first reported by the Nikkei business daily."