Mazda not crazy about electric-cars, sees growth in lean gasoline engines

2012 Mazda3

All of this hype about electric and alternative powertrains can tend to drone on a bit and of course, the concepts and idears aren’t met without controversy. Since the biggest problem with electric vehicles is their charge time and limited range, many analysts have said that the public isn’t ready for EVs because they just aren’t practical in majority of the situations that most American’s experience on a daily basis. Mazda recognizes this and as a result, projects growth in gasoline powered vehicles but with lean mixtures.

In a press conference with Mazda Motor Corporation’s president, Takashi Yamanouchi, he said that Mazda’s Skyactiv engine “will be a pillar of growth strategy” as they seek to boost sales in emerging markets like China and India. This is due to the fact that Yamanouchi predicts that gasoline engines will still power 80-90% of the world’s cars in 20 years.

After Yamanouchi stated his prediction, he did concede to the fact that majority of that 80-90% doesn’t rule out the possibility of them being hybrids since hybrids needs gasoline engines to start up. And running lean engines, which means that the Stoichiometric ratio of fuel to air in the combustion chamber injects more air than fuel into the cylinder, means less fuel consumption.

And this all comes as interesting news since Mazda’s direct competitor, Nissan is taking an alternate route by favoring the push of electric cars rather than sticking with conventional gasoline-powered internal combustion engines.

Despite these plans, Mazda has lost money since Ford’s restructuring, which meant that the Ford and Mazda partnership was basically reduced. So Mazda has essentially been left to work on their own with Ford only stepping in very little. That said, Yamanouchi also announced that no replacement partnership has been found, but Mazda and Ford will continue to be a key partner.

– By: Chris Chin

Source: Detroit News