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Mazda has high hopes for low-range MX-30 EV

Mazda expects its first full-electric car for Europe, the MX-30, to appeal to affluent, urban, customers despite offering a less range that its rivals.

The small crossover’s 35.5-kilowatt-hour battery pack provides an estimated range of 200 km. In comparison, the 39-kWh battery pack in the Kia e-Niro and Hyundai Kona Electric offers ranges of 235 km and 255 km, respectively.

“The vast majority of battery-electric car buyers choose them as a second or even third car in the family,” Mazda Italy Managing Director Roberto Di Pietrantonio said during an online presentation for the car this month. “The MX-30 will cater to the needs of customers with relatively low miles driven per day, mainly in large metropolitan areas but also in wealthy midsize towns.”

While its main rivals can also be equipped with a 64-kWh battery that extends the e-Niro’s range to 370 km and the Kona Electric to 400 km, Mazda hasn’t announced plans to offer a more powerful battery.

Its engineers, however, are working on a version with a range-extending gasoline engine. That version, if approved, could reach the market “between late 2021 and early 2022,” estimated Joachim Kunz, who is a senior product development engineer at Mazda Europe.

Meanwhile, in Japan Mazda will offer the MX-30 first as mild hybrid, adding the full-electric variant next year but only as part of a lease program.

Mazda said the mild hybrid’s motor-assist system gives the engine a boost from a full stop, facilitates controlled braking and provides smooth power when accelerating on the road.

Mazda has no plans to offer the MX-30 mild hybrid in Europe.

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