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Strangest mainstream EV conversion yet? China's 2022 Mazda CX-30 EV gets longer range than MX-30 Electric at cost of odd styling

The Chinese-market CX-30 EV is the latest in a long line of EV conversions. (Image credit: Sina)

Mazda has finally detailed the first all-electric version of its best-selling small SUV, the CX-30 EV, which well and truly goes its own way.

Currently exclusive to China, the CX-30 EV doesn’t follow in the tyre tracks of the platform-sharing MX-30 Electric small SUV that’s sold in other markets, including Australia.

Instead, the CX-30 EV gets a significantly larger lithium-ion battery (61.1kWh versus 35.5kWh in the MX-30 Electric) that provides about double the NEDC-certified range (450km vs 224km).

Better yet, the CX-30 EV also features a more potent electric motor (163kW/300Nm versus 107kW/271Nm in the MX-30 Electric) for higher performance, although the exact claims are yet to be issued.

And then there’s the styling. While the MX-30 Electric is a cohesively designed all-electric model, the CX-30 EV is an example of an EV conversion, meaning it’s effectively a regular CX-30 that replaced its internal-combustion engine with a zero-emissions powertrain.

2022 Mazda CX-30 EV (Image credit: Sina) 2022 Mazda CX-30 EV (Image credit: Sina)

This, of course, explains why the CX-30 EV looks very odd, with its increased height (1655mm, +115mm) and unique front splitter, side steps and extended rear bumper all accommodating its aforementioned 61.1kWh lithium-ion battery underfloor.

You’d be excused for asking how the CX-30 EV came into existence with Mazda’s approval, and the answer is one of the Japanese brand’s Chinese joint-venture partners, Changan, did the conversion for the domestic market, which has an insatiable appetite for EVs.

Which brings us to whether we’ll see the CX-30 EV offered outside of China. As reported, there is a strong possibility a version will be sold in Australia and other markets, but it very likely won’t be the one you see here.

2022 Mazda CX-30 EV (Image credit: Sina) 2022 Mazda CX-30 EV (Image credit: Sina)

Following the Chinese-market CX-30 EV’s reveal at the Shanghai motor show in April, a Mazda insider told CarsGuide that “there’s a good chance” a CX-30 EV would be available in Australia during the small SUV’s first generation, which only arrived here early last year.

“We’d love to offer it in Australia were it to become available,” they said. “We would certainly put our hand up for it.”

The Mazda insider added that the potential Australian-market CX-30 EV probably wouldn’t be sourced from China, so expect it to have a different battery and electric motor, not to mention styling. Stay tuned.