Mazda 2 EV: Available Lease Only In Japan
|   Sunday, July 08, 2012
The latest test-fleet vehicle to arrive on the world's roads comes from Japan's Mazda and is called Mazda Demio EV there; elsewhere it is known as the Mazda 2. First of all, what is a test-fleet vehicle? This represents a car that with which a manufacturer wants to collect live data on how the systems perform in daily use. This is one category of cars, the other two being compliance car and those cars that are intended to be sold to the public in large quantities.
The Mazda 2 will start testing this October.

The all-electric derive will come with a 20 kWh lithium-ion battery which will supposedly be made of 18650-format commodity cells, if the press material is correct. According to the company, that is enough to propel the car for about 200 km (120 miles) in a Japanese test cycle. Those of you accustomed with the EPA rating know that that figure is a bit exaggerated. In this regard the US test cycle is the most realistic on the planet.

Now, Mazda claims the motor is unique and that it is fully developed in-house. Output figures stand at 70 kW, or 100 horsepower, while torque stands at 112 lb-ft, or 150 Nm. The motor will be moving a subcompact weighing around 2600 lbs, so the overall drive should be highly pleasurable. In fact, the Japanese are highlighting that aspect too, saying the "exhilarating driving experience, including powerful acceleration, precise handling and a comfortable ride" will not leave you wanting to get the gasoline engine instead.

Recharging time is 8 hours, but that time drops to 40 minutes if you want a quick fill to 80 % of battery capacity. Obviously, that means the CHAdeMO quick-charge port can be found on the Demio EV. Other cars, like the Leaf or the i from Mitsubishi also use that system, with the exception of Honda's Fit EV.
Also, the company claims space for cargo and passengers is the same as in the traditional version.

The price of the car is around 50,000 dollars or 3,577,000 Yen, but Mazda has no intention of selling tit yet. Instead it will only be available for leasing. By doing that, the company can reclaim low-volume cars when the test period is over, so they can be destroyed.

The project involves lending about 100 cars to companies and authorities in Japan, mainly in the Chugoku region. For now, that is all the action this little car will see. If it handles well, the future might see it exported to other parts on the planet, like the US. So, if this got you thinking about how it would be like to have an electric Mazda 2 in your garage, you will have to wait a while.

We hope everything will end well, and the car will enter mass-production. There are plenty of obstacles, including the company's natural reluctance towards electrification, but we are confident it will prevail. Until then, enjoy the latest SkyActive techs in the 2013 CX-5 crossover and 2012 Mazda 3.
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