Author Topic: Electric 3?  (Read 1581 times)

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Offline Engineer Andy

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Re: Electric 3?
« Reply #15 on: August 30, 2021, 02:24:34 PM »
My feeling is that at a corporate level Mazda has badly got the transition to electric wrong. My guess is that they had their Skyactiv-X breakthrough in the mid 2010s and decided to bet the farm on that technology rather than invest in a BEV drivetrain.

Since this decision, Mazda seem to have been going with the corporate line of how ICE vehicles are less polluting overall when considering 'well-to-grave' but this has been disproven time and again recently so that line has been dropped.

I get the feeling Mazda also got caught out by how quickly electric vehicles are being adopted and how quickly ICE vehicles will be banned in Western countries. The MX-30 seems to be a reaction and I think the poor range and lack of follow-up vehicles bares this out. I hear that Mazda have signed an agreement with Toyota to co-develop a BEV drivetrain as they don't have to fund the development their own.

What I find quite surprising is how little Mazda have taken advantage of the Skyactiv-X - so far it's only in the 3 and CX-30. I wonder why it hasn't found its way into the 6 or CX-5 yet - do they really need to wait for a new model version? I just think of all the development investment that is slowly flowing down the drain...

The 'well-to-grave' CO2 and other pollutants footprint is highly variable, because it heavily depends upon both where the production base is compared to the end user (for both car, wear and tear components and fuel) and the mix of how electrivity is produced, both where the components and cars are made AND where the cars are used afterwards.  That and the same and whether a car owner mainly uses grid-derived electricity or that generated via PV panels on their home roof or at at work.

For example, an Australian may have PV pandels and use them, making it more 'grren', but if they mainly used grid electricity - that is mostly generated via coal fired power stations, which is far worse than using an ICE/hybrid.

People back here in the UK will also have varied experiences, because a person living in a large house will be able to put a PV panel on their roof, whereas someone like in living in a flat won't either be able to, or the amount of eletricity it would generate (if we were allowed) would be about a third as much due to the lack of available roof space per flat.  Plus we have less sunlight.

Add to that the varied detrimental environmental issues associated with the high use of mined rare Earth elements - especially for the battery components, many of which are very difficult (if not impossible) and expensive/energy intensive to recycle, means that the 'green' credentials of EVs may not be as good as its proponents (who have a lot of financial incitives to tout) say.

I agree that Mazda bet on the wrong horse as regards going the Skyactiv-X route - I don't know how long they've been developing it - possibly only since the split with Ford about 7 years or so ago, but I think that it was partly due to their tie-up with Ford that they went that way.  Don't forget that Ford came very late to the party of using small capacity turbocharged petrol engines and hybrids, compared to the continental makes, especially VAG and Toyota.

Ford's lack of experience (relative to VAG & Co) on the small capacity turbocharged petrol engines - similarly with Honda, has meant both they have faced qute a lot of problems when trying to rapidly catch up, often resulting in reliability issues that has not down their reputation (especially Honda) any good.  With Mazda, I think they (as they often did apart from when they had the tie-up with Ford) went their own way, thinking that the idiot/naive politicians and the mainstream media hacks wouldn't jump ship from ICE to EVs (via hybrids) this quickly.

I suspect Mazda thought they had another 15-20 years of ICE or ICE-hybrid cars with only 5% of sales as EVs, but certain powerful global forces (e.g. The World Economic Forum), helped by the media (because they either don't know any better or are being paid to shill) and weak poilitical leaders (who like to pander to those who shout loudest and activists on socila media) have pushed green issues (despite most people not supporting the very large changes currently being touted in the West) so that the changes are now likely going to happen in half the time originally anticipated.

As Mazda is a relatively small player globally compared to VAG, Toyota and others, they've been forced to partner with other larger firms - in this case, Toyota (they also have a joint production site in the US now), to use the best of both their firms to help catch up on the R&D on EVs, etc.

I am actually more hopeful now they do have this tie-up - I just hope it doesn't go the way of when Nissan (and more latterly Mitsubishi) joined with Renault.  What would be good is if Toyota/Lexus improved their cars' styling and handling, and Mazda then could use Toyota's superior hybrid (EVs shouldn't be too much of a strtch), possibly fuel cell and engineering quality/customer care abilities to help imrpove both their ranges of cars.

Where they may have problems is on the sportiness side of things on the engines - Toyota have seriously backed off on that front, and now sub out their remaining two sports cars (the Yaris one is a tiny seller and loses money) to BMW and Subaru respectively, just rebadging them with the odd tweak to the styling and gearboxes/engine mapping.

Whilst Mazda technically still have 'sportyish' cars and their endless R&D money pit that is rotary engines, they too have got more staid in terms of their offerings - even the Mazda3 2.5T SA-G AWD is not as quick/powerful as the Mazda3 MPS from 10-15 years ago and there hasn't been an RX built since around 2012.

Maybe the tie-up is going to base their ranges on an upmarket feel, but not sportiness.  The significant step-up in the interiors of the latest Mazdas and little in the way of sporty engines over previous ones says that may be the case.  Unless Mazda can easily/cheaply adapt the 2L SA-X engine to work as a 1.5L for the smaller cars and a 2.5L on the larger ones, then I can easily see them dropping it for Toyota-based hybrids wh=ithin the next 2-3 years.

The MX-30 is not going to be a sales winner in my view - it's too small to be a family car, not quick or cheap enough to appeal to young people, and doesn't have the range (distance) of rivals to appeal to people - often business owners - who like to lease vehicles for tax reasons.  The problem now is also that the previous tax benefits of PHEVs is going to be scaled back because governments want to encourage pure EVs, just after Mazda introduces theirs to the market. D'Oh!

Offline speedy mazda

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Re: Electric 3?
« Reply #16 on: August 30, 2021, 09:57:58 PM »
Hopefully Mazda will give us a turbo Mazda 3 before we are made to go electric 😂.Did I hear somewhere Mazda has developed the rotary engine for charging an electric hybrid car ? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDC3uQp05DM

Offline Engineer Andy

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Re: Electric 3?
« Reply #17 on: September 02, 2021, 06:56:54 PM »
Hopefully Mazda will give us a turbo Mazda 3 before we are made to go electric 😂.Did I hear somewhere Mazda has developed the rotary engine for charging an electric hybrid car ? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDC3uQp05DM

Something like that - I think whatever it is - a new RX or a MX-30 or similar but which has a system like the BMW i3 (range extender) may be down the line.  Not sure when though.

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Re: Electric 3?
« Reply #17 on: September 02, 2021, 06:56:54 PM »