Mazda Will Be First Japanese Manufacturer To Offer Diesel-Electric Hybrid
|   Thursday, August 21, 2014
Driven by the growing popularity of diesel engines in Japan and their significant market share in Europe, Mazda will develop a diesel-electric hybrid system that will reduce fuel consumption by 30 percent compared to conventional diesel units.

Japanese media announces that Mazda will become the first Japanese manufacturer to offer a hybrid diesel-electric range. Led by Toyota, the classical (gasoline-electric) hybrid evolution does not relies too much on a powertrain that combines diesel engines with electric motors, despite the fact that Europe is a market where diesel has a share of market higher than gasoline.
So far, only PSA Peugeot Citroen, Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz offers in their model ranges such engine versions.

While Mercedes uses a more traditional setup, slotting an electric motor between engine and gearbox to provide electric assistance, the French and Swedish makes use a through-the-road setup with electric power to the rear wheels alone.

According to the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper, whose journalists have announced news of adopting a new type of hybrid powertrain, Mazda will bring to the market such an idea in 2016 – 2017 (2016 Japanese financial year, which goes from the start of April 2016 to the end of March 2017), and it will be used on the entire line of models the Japanese manufacturer has.

One of the reasons that drive Mazda to rely on this type of technology is the explosion of diesel engines in the Japanese market, where sales of such models have increased seven times in the last three years.

Most likely, one of the basic engines of Mazda's hybrid system powertrain is the new SKYACTIV-D 1.5-liter, which will debut on the next-generation Mazda 2 this fall. According to data provided by Mazda, the unit with four cylinders and direct injection offers 105 hp and a torque of 250 Nm. Coupled with an electric motor the diesel-electric system will provide a 30 percent energy saving.

The new car's fuel consumption is estimated to be around 2.5 l / 100 km, according to the JC08 fuel economy cycle. Mazda's diesel hybrid will be sold in Japan and Europe, although the newspaper did not indicate which model or models will be equipped with the new drivetrain.

Today in Japan, Mazda offers a gasoline-electric hybrid version of the Mazda 3. Known there as the Mazda Axela Hybrid, the car is a version of the Mazda SKYACTIV G 2.0-liter, with electric drivetrain components belonging to Toyota Prius, including the electric motor.

The report indicates that the goal for Mazda would be to produce a vehicle that could achieve a fuel efficiency of 40 kilometers per liter of diesel. Currently, the best result is held by Aqua (similar to the Prius C in the USA), which reaches 37 km per liter of petrol, which means about 50 mpg on a combined EPA test cycle rating.
Vehicles with diesel engine represent 50 percent of new car sales in Europe. Approximately 76,000 units were also sold in 2013 in Japan, about 1.9 times more than the previous year's sales.
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