Toyota & Mazda Developing Small Electric SUV
It’s no mystery that Toyota and Mazda have agreed to join forces in a technological sense. Now, a new report claims that some of the details surrounding this deal have leaked out. According to the report, Toyota is helping Mazda create an EV crossover and Mazda is allowing Toyota to use its 1.5-liter, super-thrifty Skyactiv-D engine.
The main focus here is what Mazda is getting out of the deal, as it has revolutionized the art of milking every last mile from each gallon of fuel recently. This movement to electrification could be an indicator that Skyactiv technology is about as advanced as it can get without a little boost.
What’s more, building an electric SUV and other EVs will help Mazda with the ever-tightening emission laws and the Zero Emission Vehicle regulations that are due to hit California in 2018.
This electric SUV will reportedly use Toyota’s plug-in hybrid technology and fuel-cell technology to hit its goal. The latter of the two technologies will help put potential buyers’ minds at ease regarding the battery’s range, as refilling the hydrogen tanks is not much different than filling gas tanks in existing cars.
It is whether the U.S. will get this crossover or not, but chances are we will at some point.
On the Toyota side of the equation, a source claims that Toyota will use the 1.5-liter Skyactiv-D engine in a small hybrid SUV. Thanks to the high fuel economy of the Skyactiv-D engine, this Prius-based SUV could travel up to 800 km (497 miles) on a tank of diesel fuel and a fully charged battery.
In addition to the hybrid SUV, look for Toyota to spread this thrifty diesel engine across its lineup, including the Lexus brand.
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Why it matters
Regardless of the arguments that people have, it is clear that the automotive industry is moving toward electric power at a quick rate. This is partially due to customer demand and government regulations, but it is also due to the dwindling supply of oil. This will also help keep Mazda rolling in California without paying hefty fines.
For Toyota, it gets to use a great diesel engine that is bound to deliver outstanding fuel economy. Initial estimate put this engine at nearly 500 miles on a tank, but I feel that this diesel engine mated with hybrid tech will returned closer to 600 miles on a fill-up and a charged battery.