Mazda Motor Corporation is refocusing its efforts on electric vehicles (EVs) in the United States, with new models slated for launch as early as 2025, according to a report from Japan's Nikkei. The automaker recently discontinued its sole EV, the MX-30, in the American market to concentrate on its hybrid and plug-in hybrid offerings like the CX-50 Hybrid, CX-70 PHEV, and CX-90 PHEV.
“In a pivot from a previous strategy, the company will produce these upcoming EVs in Japan and export them to the United States,” the report states. The decision is risky because these Japan-made EVs may not qualify for the $7,500 federal tax credit currently available for EVs made in the U.S., although a leasing loophole might provide a workaround for now.
The forthcoming EV models won't be dedicated electric vehicles. “They will utilize the platforms of existing gasoline-powered vehicles,” Nikkei adds. Mazda CEO Masahiro Moro emphasized the economic challenges in manufacturing small EVs: “It's hard to make money by making small EVs given the high costs of producing automobiles. We are looking at a segment that will appeal to would-be EV buyers.”
The decision to intensify its focus on EVs seems overdue, as Mazda's first electric offering, the MX-30, was limited in scope and reach. Originally only available in California, the MX-30 was priced at $34,110 but had an estimated range of just 100 miles, notably less than competing models like the Chevrolet Bolt, which offers a range of 259 miles at a starting price of $26,500.
While details are scant at this stage, the company's renewed interest in electric vehicles is evident, and the upcoming models will likely be a crucial part of Mazda's long-term strategy.