Mazda to launch EV-only model in 2027 to accelerate shift

Mazda Motor Corp. will launch its first electric-vehicle-only model in 2027, CEO Masahiro Moro said in a recent interview in Tokyo, as part of efforts to speed up its electrification efforts and catch up with global rivals.

Mazda started to sell in 2021 an electric model of the MX-30 sport utility vehicle, initially launched as a hybrid car, but the Japanese automaker has not had a dedicated electric vehicle.

Moro also said that the company will ramp up production of EV-only models from 2028 onwards and accelerate the development of high-quality electric control equipment in collaboration with Toyota Motor Corp., its capital alliance partner.

He vowed to step up its electrification efforts in China, the largest auto market in the world, betting that a shift to EVs in the country will proceed at a rapid pace.

"We will offer one (EV) model after another from 2025" through a Chinese joint venture, Moro said in the interview with a group of reporters.

In the United States, the automaker has recently started to make the gasoline-powered CX-50 SUV at its factory in Alabama and will aim to launch a hybrid model of it.

Last year, U.S. President Joe Biden signed into law the Inflation Reduction Act, in which the country offers a tax break for those who purchase EVs assembled in North America.

To utilize the scheme, Mazda "will consider production (of EVs) and battery procurement" in the region, he said.

Seeking to bolster its brand value, the CEO also said he will consider setting up a new company to organize motorsport events and promote safe driving.

Moro was promoted to CEO in June from senior managing executive officer, succeeding Akira Marumoto who held the top position for the past five years.

© Kyodo News