Can Mazda, who is addicted to the internal combustion engine, get on the last electrification bus?


Editor’s note: This article is from Krypton 36 “Future Automotive Daily” (micro-channel public number ID: auto-time), Author: NIU Xiao Tong.Author | Niu Xiaotong Editor | Wu Yan As the last mainstream brand of electrification in the automotive industry, Mazda finally “first shocked”.At the Tokyo Motor Show on October 23, Mazda officially launched its first pure electric SUV model, the new car is called MX-30, the battery capacity is 35.5kWh, and the cruising range is about 200km.According to Reuters, the MX-30 is scheduled to be released in Europe in 2020, and the price in Germany is 33,990 euros (about RMB 268,000).Source: Twitter’s “compromise” to electrification is not an easy task for Mazda.Among the mainstream car companies in the world, Mazda is almost the only brand that still does not have a pure electric model.Even in Japan, where motorization started a little later, Mazda’s actions have lagged far behind Toyota and Honda.In the car circle, Mazda has always been known as “maverick.”For decades, we have been insisting on the development of the “black technology” rotary engine, rejecting the turbocharged and focusing on improving the naturally aspirated engine, eliminating the touch screen and replacing it with knobs and buttons.A series of actions made this Japan’s fifth-largest automaker appear to be “non-mainstream” in the wave of electrification and intelligence.Today, the stubborn Mazda is finally on the motorized last bus, but the time left for it is not much.In the wave of the “new four” that has swept the world, the Japanese automakers are generally not “cold” in the trend of electrification, the most famous of which is the Toyota that is attached to hydrogen and hybrid.Until the end of 2016, Toyota announced the full development of electric vehicles, and the president, Akio Toyoda, personally served as the president of the electric vehicle development department, and plans to realize the electrification of all products in 2025.In the same year, Tesla has become the sales champion of the electric vehicle market in the United States. Toyota cars that are too late to enter are inevitably a bit embarrassing and passive.What is even less well known is that Mazda, Japan’s fourth-largest auto company, has a more complete rejection of electric vehicles.For decades, Mazda has left the deepest impression on the outside world, that is, to adhere to the internal combustion engine and refuse the turbocharged “technical house.”In 2013, Mazda released the first generation of “Chuangchi Blue Sky” engine technology, which achieved high compression ratio and low fuel consumption of naturally aspirated engines.At that time, the mainstream technical problems that major auto companies were discussing were how to use turbocharging technology to improve the engine’s ability. Only Mazda dismissed it.Mazda’s inventor and executive director of “Chuangchi Blue Sky” technology saw that Guangfu had said that electric vehicles have no practical significance compared with fuel vehicles, and there is no reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from the perspective of environmental protection.In his view, in the future automotive industry, the internal combustion engine is still king. One of the goals of inventing the blue sky technology is to challenge the hybrid, so that the fuel consumption and energy saving effect of the internal combustion engine can reach the level of the hybrid engine.This also represents Mazda’s attitude towards the trend of electrification: instead of developing electric vehicles, it is better to find ways to improve the efficiency and environmental protection of internal combustion engines. Mazda’s unique technology for internal combustion engines, “Chuangchi Blue Sky”, was born based on this concept..However, it has to be acknowledged that in the face of increasingly stringent emission regulations worldwide and increasing consumer acceptance of new energy vehicles, the electrification trend has become a reality that every car company must face.Under the leadership of Akio Toyoda, Toyota Motor has begun to transform into electric power.Honda also plans to launch more than 20 electric vehicles, including hybrid and pure electric vehicles, in China by 2025.Source: Unsplash Until this year, the first pure electric model was late Mazda, it was a bit late.What’s more, Mazda, which has stopped at the product level, has not performed well in sales in the global market in recent years.In 2018, Mazda’s global sales fell 4% year-on-year to 1.561 million units, and net profit fell 43% year-on-year to 63.48 billion yen.In China, the world’s largest single market, Mazda has been in a downturn since 2017.In 2018, Mazda sold 272,300 units in the Chinese market for the whole year, down 12% year-on-year.In the first half of 2019, Mazda sold 106,300 units in China, down 27% year-on-year.In the Chinese market where new energy vehicles are growing against the trend, Mazda, the defender of internal combustion engines, has been unable to adapt and meet the needs of consumers.Until last year, Mazda began to release the signal of the layout of electrification, but still did not put down the obsession with the internal combustion engine.In 2018, Mazda announced that by 2030, 95% of Mazda’s models will be products of internal combustion engine combined with electrification technology.Non-mainstream players who are addicted to black technology refuse to accept electrification, not because Mazda is conservative.On the contrary, Mazda has always been a representative of niche and vanguard in terms of technology.In the 1960s, German engineers invented the world’s first rotor engine.Unlike conventional piston engines, the rotary engine is small in size, low in noise, and strong in performance.At one time, dozens of car companies began to develop rotor engines, and the automotive industry is looking forward to a revolution in the engine industry.Mazda is also one of them, but it quickly became the only car company in the world to develop and produce rotary engines.The Mazda sports car with a rotary engine set a top speed record in Bonneville, USA, and later won the French 24 hour rally in Raman. The rotary engine became synonymous with Mazda.At the same time, the rotary engine also has unresolved congenital defects such as high fuel consumption, large wear and excessive discharge, and it is extremely difficult to maintain and maintain due to advanced technology.This series of questions is doomed to be more suitable for this advanced engine or the track.Since the fuel consumption and emissions of the rotary engine have not been solved for many years, in the situation of more stringent emission standards and more severe market conditions, in 2012, the last RX series production car equipped with a rotary engine, the Mazda RX-8, was discontinued.The rotor engine bid farewell to the market.Source: Twitter Even so, Mazda is still obsessed with improving the efficiency of internal combustion engines.In 2013, Mazda launched the first generation of “Chuangchi Blue Sky” engine technology. The high compression ratio and low fuel consumption made Mazda’s internal combustion engine technology famous.Five years later, in 2018, Mazda continued to introduce a new generation of Chuangchi blue sky engine technology, which reduced fuel consumption by 20% to 30% compared with the previous generation.People saw that Guangfu had confidently stated that from the perspective of environmental protection, his own fuel engine is close to the level of electric vehicles.What is even more puzzling is that in July this year, Mazda announced that all new models will cancel the large-size central control screen, and the new 2019 Mazda 3 will only retain one small display.When the touch screen became the iconic device for the next generation of automotive technology, Mazda returned the knob and case back to the cockpit for safety and handling.In an increasingly accentuated and intelligent automotive industry, Mazda is like a lonely and spectator, and is incompatible with the trend of the times.The time left for Mazda is not much. According to Mazda’s plan, the company is expected to officially launch its first pure electric vehicle in 2020.But I have to admit that this time is already a bit late.Globally, mainstream car companies have begun to launch electric products in major markets.The Volkswagen Group has only 14 models of pure electric vehicles planned to be launched in 2019, and announced that by 2035, the proportion of pure electric vehicles in the Chinese market will reach 50%.In June 2019, BMW Group Chairman Kruger announced the advancement of 25 new energy vehicles by 2023, more than half of which will be pure electric vehicles.Audi plans to launch 12 pure electric vehicles by 2025, and sales of pure electric and plug-in hybrids will account for one-third.If you count the Toyota, Honda, Nissan and other local rivals that have been fully motorized, Mazda’s position in the electric vehicle market is still a huge question.What’s more, the MX-30’s cruising range is only about 200 kilometers. In the highly competitive Chinese market, the pure electric vehicles launched by major independent brands have reached the mainstream mileage of 500 kilometers.Source: Twitter is far behind competitor Mazda. Perhaps even greater pressure is that the global fuel vehicle market is undergoing change.As early as 2015, California proposed a plan to ban fuel vehicles from listing in 2030. Since then, Germany, France, Norway, India and other countries have successively issued fuel vehicle bans. The earliest time is Norway, which will begin in 2025.Fuel vehicles are banned.China is also planning a timetable for fuel vehicles to exit the market.In March 2019, Hainan Province issued regulations prohibiting the sale of fuel vehicles in 2030.According to the report “Research on the Exit Schedule of Chinese Traditional Fuel Vehicles”, China is expected to fully withdraw its fuel vehicles from the market by 2050.Whether in the Chinese market or the global market, there is not much time left for Mazda.In an interview with foreign media, Mazda CEO Marumoto said that the company has accelerated the launch of pure electric vehicles, mainly to avoid heavy penalties for EU models.At present, the carbon dioxide emissions of new cars sold in Mazda are 135.2 grams per kilometer, and only 95 grams per kilometer before 2021 can avoid the EU’s high fines.Last year, Mazda allocated a total of $88 million as a reserve fund for EU fines.Even so, Mazda’s rhythm is still not slow.Mazda (China) Chairman Watanabe said in an interview with Economic Observer Online that the company’s development of electric vehicles in Japan is mainly in cooperation with Toyota, but the research and development results are limited to new energy vehicles produced in Japan.In China, Mazda will work with Chinese partners to develop new energy vehicles, “to fight for 2020”.In Marumoto’s view, “the unique internal combustion engine technology is still the brand identity of Mazda.”However, for this alternative player who is forced to adapt to the trend, even if it is possible to catch the last train of electrification, the future is still unknown.——————– I am 36 氪 future car daily author Niu Xiaotong, concerned about the dynamics of the car and travel, welcome to broke the news and exchanges.My WeChat is NEXT0117, please add a note name, position, company..