Mazda Rotary Engines to Return in EVs

Mazda’s well-liked rotary engine is to make a return to its cars, as part of one of the automaker’s first two electric vehicles.

The EVs are being launched as part of Mazda’s Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030 environmental drive, under which it says it plans to reduce its “CO2 emissions to 50% of 2010 levels by 2030, and to 90% by 2050”. One of them will be powered by a battery alone, the other will be powered by a battery combined with the new rotary engine. The company says the engine is intended to extend the vehicle’s range beyond that typically offered by a battery-powered EV. It claims it will do this by “recharg[ing] the battery when necessary” and be “small, lightweight and exceptionally quiet”.

Mazda claims the engine’s “small size and high power output make multiple electrification technology solutions possible”. It says it will be able to “burn liquefied petroleum gas and provide a source of electricity in emergencies”. It’s forecasting that by 2030, these kind of electric-ICE hybrids will account for 95% of the vehicles it sells. However, it says it will also concentrate on making its fully ICE-powered vehicles more energy-efficient in the intervening period.

Mazda claims it plans to send the hybrid “to areas affected by natural disasters” as part of Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 3030. It also says it’s collaborating with the Tokyo Institute of Technology and Hiroshima University on research into how biofuels can eventually make ICE-powered cars carbon-neutral.


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