Confirmed: Mazda's fully-electric MX-30 to join New Zealand's EV market
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Days after a spokesperson from Mazda Australia revealed the brand's concerns about bringing the fully-electric MX-30 down under, Mazda New Zealand has confirmed that the EV is coming here.
Vinesh Bhindi, managing director of Mazda Australia, mentioned that slow EV sales in Australia are the reason behind this, but it seems that this hesitance hasn't made its way over the Tasman at all.
Mazda New Zealand is standing behind its claims that New Zealand will be one offer the first markets that the right-hand drive variant is offered, with sales expected to start early 2021.
Late last year Mazda whipped the covers off the MX-30. In many ways it's exactly what you'd expect from the Japanese marque; a quality cabin, earworm-like exterior design, with a few little points of difference (like those freestyle doors) sprinkled on top.
The presence of a 35.3kWh lithium-ion battery pack at launch (enough for an estimated 200km range) would've perhaps been considered beyond par a few years ago, but as EV tech becomes more advanced it's somewhat interesting that an SUV like the MX-30 can sport a smaller battery than more compact rivals.
In a recent interview with European publication Automotive News, Mazda Europe boss Yasuhiro Aoyama said that part of the decision behind the battery size was in the hope of keeping weight down. And indeed the MX-30's 1700kg mass is much lighter than you'd expect for an EV SUV. This helps the all-new vehicle retain Mazda's 'zoom zoom' methodology intact, at least in theory.
In addition, Christian Schultze, director and of Mazda Europe’s Research & Development Center, said that the battery size is specifically tailored to urban drivers that cover between 40km and 70km a day. This is a sentiment echoed by Mazda New Zealand managing director David Hodge.
“What gets all the noise is the range of an EV, but we need to look at it differently. Before you commit yourself to an EV, study what your driving habits are,” said Hodge — speaking to Driven at the 2019 Tokyo motor show.
“How much do you really drive? How often do you drive 100km in a day? If 90 per cent of your driving is short length, maybe an EV suits you. You don’t buy a cellphone because its battery lasts eight days. As long as it lasts a day, you charge it every night just as you will with an EV. When you buy a petrol car, the size of the petrol tank is not on the list.”