Mazda has revealed it will launch its first battery electric vehicle in 2020, which will arrive alongside a range-extended version using a rotary engine.
According to the UK's Autocar, the first Mazda EVs will not come from a corporate tie-up with Toyota. While the two have signed on to build a U.S. manufacturing facility together and made a separate deal that would see Mazda take advantage of Toyota's electrification expertise, Mazda's first electric vehicle was apparently in development before that agreement was made.
After those electrics are on the market, Mazda says it will follow up with a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) vehicle.
Mazda officials who spoke to Autocar wouldn't confirm what vehicle class its electrified models would compete in. The brand's Euro design boss said only the company doesn't want its EVs to "look like a fridge."
Mazda is among the last mainstream automaker to make a move into the electric vehicle field. The Japanese company has until now focused on the future of the combustion engine with its SkyActiv technology. The next chapter in that story begins when the company's new SkyActiv-X compression-ignition gasoline engine joins the 2019 Mazda3 range in late 2019.