Japanese car maker Mazda has launched its first fully electric vehicle into the Australian market, an SUV coupe-style car with a price tag of $65,490.
The car, called the MX-30 Electric, has a relatively small 35.5 kilowatt hour battery pack and a range of just 200 kilometres, far lower than other electric cars in the same price range.
Mazda said the MX-30 Electric is available for pre-order from today, May 5, with deliveries beginning from August. It has earmarked 100 vehicles for the Australian market.
The price tag of $65,490 means the MX-30 Electric will qualify for the Victorian government’s newly announced $3,000 government subsidy, which is available for up to 20,000 EVs that cost less than $69,000.
Mazda says the 355-volt lithium-ion battery can be charged from 20 per cent to 80 per cent in 36 minutes using a 50KW charger, or nine hours from a standard 240V, 10A power point.
The motor generates 107kW and an instant 271Nm torque output. Other features include 18-inch alloy wheels, 12-speaker Bose sound system, windscreen heads up display, 360-degree camera, active cruise control with stop and go function, and heated front seats.
“The MX-30 Electric is Mazda’s first-ever pure electric vehicle, building on the benefits of the M Hybrid to deliver a zero emissions driving experience,” Mazda Australia managing director Vinesh Bhindi said.
“It also proves that you can have a sustainable drive while retaining the fun behind the wheel and unique driver connection that Mazda is renowned for.”
It means there are now two Japanese full battery EVs available in the Australia, the other being the Nissan Leaf, the new version of which was launched last month.
Nissan and Mazda have now both beaten Japanese giant Toyota, the biggest car maker in the world, in bringing a full battery EV to the road.
Toyota revealed the prototype of its first battery EV, bZ4X, last month, but the vehicle is not expected to hit roads until next year, starting with Japan and China. There is no word on when it might be available in Australia.
The only zero emissions Toyota currently available is a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, the Mirai, the newest version of which was launched in Australia in March. Given there are currently only two public hydrogen refuelling stations in Australia, the model is not likely to take off any time soon.
James Fernyhough is a reporter at RenewEconomy and The Driven. He has worked at The Australian Financial Review and the Financial Times, and is interested in all things related to climate change and the transition to a low-carbon economy.