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Is Mazda Australia considering expanding its popular CX-30 range with an electric option in the near future?
According to one company insider, the move may happen sooner rather than later, as Mazda accelerates its plans to offer electrification, with three new electric vehicles (EVs) by 2025, while by 2030 its entire line-up will feature some sort of electrification.
Although no timing or specification details were divulged, our source said “there’s a good chance” Australia will see a CX-30 EV within this current generation’s lifecycle, which only dates back to early 2020.
“We’d love to offer it in Australia were it to become available,” they said. “We would certainly put our hand up for it.”
If the local outfit gets its way, the news is even better for Mazda fans, since speculation is rife that it might arrive with a significantly larger battery compared to the just-released and closely related MX-30 Electric’s compact 35.5kWh item, for substantially greater range and broader application beyond metro limits.
This is because the CX-30 Electric will be a more-mainstream model designed to take on the likes of the MG ZS EV, Hyundai Kona Electric and Kia e-Niro on the global stage, while the MX-30 Electric is a more polished, Europe- and Japan-focused premium SUV coupe designed for urban commuting. It’s meant to help push Mazda upmarket against luxury rivals like the Mercedes-Benz EQA and Lexus UX 300e.
Pointing the way will be the CX-30 Electric, unveiled in China back in April at the Shanghai motor show and set for release there later this year.
For now, there is no other information about what electrical architecture underpins this model, except that it will be a battery-powered EV. The show car appears to possess a much higher riding position and ground clearance than the regular internal combustion engine (ICE) version.
That said, our Mazda insider suggested that the any CX-30 Electric we’re likely to see in Australia and most other world markets would probably not be sourced from China, since that is a very market-specific model and part of a joint-venture with one of Mazda’s domestic partners over there, Changan.
However, the Changan connection that has helped create the CX-30 Electric for China could result in a much larger battery pack than the 35.5kWh unit found in the MX-30 Electric. While nothing has as-yet been confirmed, it’s been reported overseas that the 48.3 kWh and massive 84.2 kWh battery packs offered in other Changan models might be under consideration for the high-flying Mazda SUV.
Alternatively, a completely different battery might be under development. We’ll let you know as soon as the information breaks.
Translated to the CX-30, such battery sizes could double and even triple the WLTP range, up from the MX-30 Electric’s so-called “right-sized” 200km on a single charge, giving Mazda a more effective weapon (and stronger bragging rights) against the Kona Electric, e-Niro and others, with their 450km-plus capabilities.
It’s understood Mazda has been stung by the widespread criticism of the MX-30 Electric’s approach of going down the lighter battery/smaller environmental impact approach rather than simply striving for the biggest-possible range, and so may be keen to not make the same mistake again.
Launching a second EV line as a more mainstream-minded model like the CX-30 – with its in-demand SUV packaging, slick styling, compact dimensions and comparatively light mass – seems to be a smart move on Mazda’s behalf, given the regular ICE-powered version’s strong sales in key markets such as North America. It currently sits at number two behind the best-selling CX-5 and closing in.
To refresh, back in June, Mazda revealed that between next year and 2025, its electrified “SkyActiv Multi-Solution Scalable Architecture” will underpin five hybrid models (using Toyota’s hybrid technology), five plug-in hybrid models and those three aforementioned EVs.
Will the CX-30 Electric be one of them? Don’t bet against it and – as usual – watch this space.