Mazda's USA CEO Says Longer-Range EVs Aren't Sustainable
Mazda has been arguably late to the EV game and its MX-30 has less driving range than essentially all other electric cars available today. This may come as no surprise after you learn that the president and CEO of Mazda USA Jeffrey Guyton doesn’t believe longer-range EVs have a viable place in the future.
Guyton, like many other smart folks in the auto industry, knows that most people aren’t going to use all of their EV’s range very often. He shared with Green Car Reports that people are hoping for electric cars with 300 miles of range, though he just doesn’t see that as sustainable in the future.
The issue is, people are used to gas cars, which they can take wherever they want whenever they want (within reason, of course) without having to worry about driving range or infrastructure. Once they get into an EV and charge it at home, they’ll quickly learn that they probably have more than enough range to get through the day, but perhaps not enough range to make easy work of road trips. If they own an EV with subpar range, they may also struggle to run loads of errands after their long commute, especially if it’s cold outside.
Still, Guyton believes that once people own a few EVs, they’ll get it figured out. Range anxiety may be a major concern for first-time buyers, but it should fade once they become seasoned owners. Meanwhile, the public charging infrastructure will continue to develop and charging speeds stand to improve significantly.
Mazda, like many automakers, has no plans to help build charging infrastructure, though it is patterned with ChargePoint. As more and more EVs are produced, batteries and related materials will become more scarce. Having a whole host of EVs traveling on city commutes while carrying a heavy, 350-mile-range battery pack may not seem so wise if you really think about it.
That said, the fear is that automakers will resort to PHEVs with gas-powered generators or range extenders, or revert back to traditional hybrids that don’t plug in at all. These vehicles still emit tailpipe emissions, so they’re not the solution in the eyes of many people.
Mazda’s MX-30 electric crossover has only 100 miles of EPA-estimated range. It’s also what many people in the EV space call a “compliance car.” Mazda is only making a small number of these EVs and only making them available in California. Down the road, the Japanese automaker aims to create a purpose-built electric vehicle platform. It also has a CX-50 Hybrid and CX-90 PHEV in the pipeline.
Guyton can only hope that in the future, public fast charging stations are available when and where needed. He claims we have the resources available to make it possible and urges that it must be a priority. He also says that the EV battery packs of the future will be smaller and lighter. While they may provide fewer miles of range, some of that will be offset by improvements in technology and the weight reduction of the EVs.
Factor in the much quicker charging that’s coming, and perhaps we won’t need electric cars with massive battery packs in the future. What do you think? Does Guyton have a valid point? Start a conversation about this controversial topic in our popular comment section today.
Source: Green Car Reports
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