One hundred of Mazda’s Demio electric vehicles will be offered for lease in western Japan this October. Mazda has created this focus group in order to know more about the development of EVs and the requirements of EV owners. The Demio is the counterpart of the Mazda 2 in the U.S. Mazda believes that by offering just 100 units to be leased, it will be able to monitor its vehicles and their owners closely, comparable to what BMW has done with its ActiveE model.
If the lease program succeeds, it will certainly boost the chances that Mazda’s car will enter mass production and possibly go to additional markets. The Demio EV is powered by an electric motor with 101-hp and 111 lb-ft of torque.
Meanwhile, a 20 kWh battery could provide a driving range of approximately 124 miles. Similar to the other vehicles offered in the market, a full charge typically takes eight hours but it only takes 40 minutes to get to an 80% capacity when using fast charge.
Mazda is planning to have an electric vehicle in the U.S. market by 2018, a goal that is quite different from the strategies of other automakers. The Honda Fit EV had demonstrated that electric cars could be quite exciting. If Mazda really intends to wait for six years, then it would be considered late.