On a scale of how environmentally conscientious all the automakers are on lowering CO2 and pollutant levels, Mazda should rank on the more positive half at least. However, according to the head of its European division, Jeff Guyton, the company’s current crop of petrol and diesel motors could do with a lot less material being spewed out the exhaust tips.
The Hiroshima-based automaker had already outlined its roadmap toward carbon neutrality, eventually adopting fully electric powertrains and a more holistic approach to reducing strain on the planet as well as its environment and resources, utilising other methods to reduce pollutants other harmful by-products at the factory level instead of just in its cars.
Of course, this plan is composed of many layers and phases and would take many years to fully realise, but it seems that legislation and government oversight is moving faster than they had originally planned; at least with regard to Europe.
While many of its competitors have switched to producing more and more hybrid and fully electric variants of current models, Guyton says that Mazda’s inputted trajectory involves other means that do not rely on volume sales of EVs or electrified cars at the moment as their success is largely determinant on incentives which vary from country to country.
With the NEDC (New European Driving Cycle) assessment criteria replaced by and WLTP (Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test) as the new mandatory throughout most of continental Europe, Mazda has had to adapt to more stringent testing lest it be subject to undesired scrutiny that could impact sales.
The most singular of these adaptations have been focused on its SkyActiv-D range of diesels in order to conform to the updated Euro-6d guidelines, requiring the fitment of a SCR (Selective Catalyst Reduction) system to their popular 6 sedan and CX-5 crossover.
Although Mazda has only just introduced a new model that will debut its SkyActiv-X range of engines - the industry-first mass produced petrol powered motors to utilise both spark-ignition and charged compression for combustion - that dramatically reduces carbon emissions as well as being significantly more fuel efficient.
With Toyota and due at around 2020, the two automakers’ technical partnership will bear more fruit in the shape of the first Mazda fully electric vehicle. It is expected that technologies present in this upcoming EV will have strong parallels with a similar car from Toyota, but both should emerge as a joint-developed product.