LOS ANGELES — Mazda's first electric vehicle for the U.S. market, the subcompact MX-30 crossover, will first go on sale in California this fall with a relatively small 35.5-kilowatt-hour battery before employing a rotary-engine range extender in a future version.
Mazda said the limited launch of the battery-electric MX-30 is the first step in an electrification strategy that will bring a plug-in hybrid version of the MX-30 with the reintroduction of its rotary-engine technology. Mainstream hybrids in larger vehicles will follow.
Mazda sells only gasoline-engine vehicles in the U.S., but the MX-30 is on sale in other markets as both an EV and a mild hybrid with an existing piston engine. The Japanese automaker is developing a dedicated EV platform for future vehicles.
"The battery-powered MX-30 will begin the introduction of additional electrified models, including a series plug-in hybrid with a rotary generator for MX-30, a plug-in hybrid for our new large platform and a traditional hybrid for our new American-made crossover," Jeff Guyton, president of Mazda North American Operations, said in a statement Wednesday.
Mazda until now has only announced plans to introduce the rotary extender on the MX-30.