Mazda hasn't locked in a local debut for its first electric vehicle, but the local boss is keen to see it.
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Mazda’s first electric vehicle is not yet confirmed for Australia, with head office to decide on the car’s chance of coming Down Under in 2020.

Unveiled at the Tokyo motor show,the MX-30 is a compact SUV with 200km of range from a battery around 35kWh in size.

"In the end, our customers need to say this is something we want," Mazda Australia managing director, Vinesh Bhindi, told CarAdvice.

"We do bring niche products in, so we're not shy. We would like to have it, we think, and we think there will be a gradual change [in market acceptance of electric vehicles] – but [don't know] whether it's in in the immediate future or some time away."

Although potential volume and Australia's limited (but growing) electric vehicle infrastructure loom as major hurdles, a lack of wide-scale investment in renewable energy is also problematic.

Electric and hybrid vehicle sales currently account for 0.25 per cent of the Australian car market, although that is an improvement on just 0.12 per cent last year.

The cheapest electric vehicle in Australia is the Hyundai Ioniq, priced from $48,490 before on-road costs, while the top end of the market is becoming crowded – with vehicles like the Mercedes-Benz EQC and Audi e-tron arriving to challenge the Tesla Model X and Jaguar I-Pace.

Hyundai and Nissan both offer ‘mainstream’ electric vehicles, although the Leaf and Kona EV both carry a hefty price penalty over the equivalent internal combustion vehicle.

Honda has expressed interest in bringing its city-sized E hatchback to Australia, although the local arm hasn’t confirmed whether the car will be offered locally.