Meeting the needs of future motoring and drivers requires a variety of solutions, say Mazda.
It will depend on the availability of power resources whether it is for petrol or diesel engines, hybrids, pure electric or hydrogen powered cars and other vehicles, Mazda UK PR director Graeme Fudge.
Mazda is three years away from its centenary after starting by making cork products before moving into trike-bikes and launching its first car 50 years ago and from the outset it sought to challenge convention to seize opportunities, he said.
This individual approach saw it pioneer the rotary engine and go on to be the only Japanese car maker to win the gruelling Le Mans 24 hrs race.
Mr Fudge said the company had deliberately kept its global manufacturing footprint small when others had not because it could better control products for particular markets and it relished good design, engineering and had a strong social conscience.
Mazda is looking towards 2030 and what are likely to be the issues, needs and solutions it will provide and it believes that while EVs offer the lowest well to wheel CO2 a steady improvement in reducing emissions from the internal combustion engine will bring them down to that of liquid natural gas. It believes that by 2030 the emissions will be half what they are today and two decades later they will be cut by 90% compared to current levels.
“By 2035 we still expect 80% of vehicles on the roads to be ICE so it makes sense to improve their efficiency and cut emissions of the ICEs so any additional gains from adding electrification in some form will bring still further benefits,” he said.
“We don’t think there is a single answer to overcoming environmental issues and they require several approaches. We see it as a raft of solutions not one solution.”
In some countries with an extensive green power network it would be most appropriate for electric cars, while others with few charging points would benefit from hybrids or advanced ICEs and if hydrogen is widely available then this would be a better solution.
It is, for instance, working with Toyota in America to develop the next generation of hybrid vehicles while Mazda has come up with a highly sophisticated Spark Control Compression Ignition engine.
This uses an ultra weak fuel mixture which is ignited but then relies on compression to better distribute the burn so the overall benefit is lower fuel consumption, more complete combustion and lower emissions in its new generation Skyactive Plus engine range which will be coming to market in the near future.
Mazda has also developed a new generation of Skyactive platform which will underpin all its future models and is capable of being lengthened or widened as required for particular cars, making substantial saving on development and engineering.
Clothing the future models we will see a new design with minimum body creases but careful curving to create reflections and depth as well as a distinctive appearance from any angle.
Mr Fudge said Mazda UK sales are currently just behind where they were a year ago and he expects they will end the year in the same position. The decline in diesel sales has not affected Mazda very much as it has the latest Euro6 power units which are still a very good choice for towing and high mileage users and are exempt from London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone penalties.
He said the company shares the concern of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders over Brexit and wants to know the terms of the UK exit and implications for the automotive sector but as a Japanese car maker it would not be affected in the same way as a British or European vehicle manufacturer.
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