Mazda announces electric vehicle trials in Japan

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 24, 2011

Mazda announced today that it is working on new electric vehicle and it is planning to start leasing examples to selected customers in Spring 2012. The new car will be based on the Mazda2 or Demio as it is known in Japan. According to Mazda, its first electric car will have a total range of 200 kilometres (125 miles).

Moreover, Mazda also announced that it is currently advancing its Building Block Strategy, which means that the Japanese manufacturer will prioritise the improvement of base technologies by developing more fuel-efficient engines and transmission.

And this is not all, as Mazda is also working on ways to reduce the weight of its cars but it is also trying to introduce electric devices such as regenerative braking and hybrid powertrain systems. The first result of this strategy will be the eco-friendly SKYACTIV technologies, which will be introduced on the market this year.

Regarding the EV lease programme, Mazda will enhance its knowledge of EV usage requirements in everyday motoring but also the practical demands placed on electric drive technologies. Still, the internal combustion engine is expected to remain at the heart of the automobile for the near future.

The new Mazda Demio EV is loaded with a regeneration system that could produce the optimum amount of electricity depending on the operation of the brake and accelerator. As soon the accelerator pedal is depressed, the system regenerates electricity while decelerating the vehicle just like an engine break.

As soon as the brake is engaged, the system regenerates electricity according to the pressure applied while working along with a typical friction brake. The brake energy regeneration system in the Demio EV efficiently regenerates electricity while providing a comfortable brake feel.

Typically, cars transformed into EVs are much heavier than their base models. Thanks to Mazda’s unyielding focus on driving performance, it looked for every possible way to cut Demio’s weight. For instance, Mazda used aluminum for battery pack casing.

Overall, at only 1,180 kg, the Demio EV is just 190 kg heavier than the base model, making it truly a lightweight electric vehicle. Additionally, Demio EV is compatible with two different charging systems. Moreover, the vehicle can supply electricity up to 100V.

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