We’ve known about the Mazda MX-30 range extender for a few years, but now it has gone into production and reaches the UK later this year.
It was back in the summer of 2020 when we wrote about range extender vehicles and how they had almost but not quite disappeared. But we also mentioned one model that might bring them back to the new car scene, and now it’s on its way in the form of the Mazda MX-30 e-Skyactiv R-EV.
The company has announced that production of its range extender plug-in hybrid has begun at Ujina Plant No.1 in Hiroshima, and it is available to order now with first UK deliveries expected in the autumn. Prices for the new electrified vehicle start at £31,250.
The key difference between this MX-30 and the full battery-electric version currently on sale is the addition of an 830cc rotary engine, the compact aluminium unit not driving the wheels directly but acting as a generator. When the 17.8kWh battery (half the size of that fitted to the BEV) is depleted the engine fires up to provide charge, with the benefit that overall range is greatly increased.
Whereas the fully electric MX-30 can manage just 124 miles on a full charge the new R-EV can cover 53 miles on electricity but is claimed to have a total range of more than 373 miles. There’s a 50-litre fuel tank for the rotary engine and claimed CO2 emissions are 21g/km. Acceleration is slightly improved, too, thanks to a boost in power to 168bhp. The new Mazda is capable of both AC and DC charging, the latter replenishing the battery in around 25 minutes.
There are three different driving modes – Normal, EV and Charge – to get the most from the powertrain depending on requirements. Normal mode sees the MX-30 run on electric power for as long as possible with the engine kicking-in when more power is needed. Select EV mode and electric drive will essentially continue until the battery is empty before the engine fires-up, while Charge allows the driver to maintain a certain level of charge in the battery, should they need zero-emissions running later in the journey.
Trim levels mirror that of the BEV version, starting with Prime-Line followed by Exclusive-Line and range-topping Makoto. However, there’s also a unique Edition R featuring Jet Black and Maroon Rouge paintwork and special trim; just 400 will come to the UK, priced from £37,750.
The new model continues with Mazda’s focus on environmentally-friendly production, with the MX-30’s interior featuring both natural cork and recycled materials. A new paint process reduces CO2 emissions by 34-37% while the vehicles are charged before leaving the factory using solar power.
Commenting on the start of Mazda MX-30 e-Skyactiv R-EV production, Jeremy Thomson, Managing Director, Mazda Motors UK, said: “I’m really excited about the new MX-30 R-EV joining our electrified line-up in the UK this autumn. A great example of Mazda’s challenger spirit, thanks to its unique technological approach, it’s a car that’s the perfect solution for customers who want an electric car for everyday usage but the flexibility to undertake longer journeys without the reliance on charging infrastructure.”
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