Mazda says it's chosen a 'responsibly' sized battery pack for its first electric vehicle, the MX-30 SUV, arguing even an electric vehicle with small batteries is barely better for the environment than a diesel hatchback.
Referencing a lifecycle emissions analysis published on Automotive News Europe, the company says the 35.5kWh battery in its MX-30 has similar CO2 emissions to a diesel Mazda 3 when emissions from battery production, electricity for charging, and battery replacements as the capacity of the original pack diminishes, are considered.
The electricity generation figures are based on data from Europe, gathered in 2016.
Mazda also says a car with a 95kWh battery pack would have considerably higher emissions throughout its lifecycle.
However its graph offers very little detail on its axes about time, nor the actual numbers surrounding CO2 emissions.
Mazda says it chose a smaller battery for the MX-30 because its European owners generally drive less than 70km per day, making its 200km range more than enough.
The car's smaller battery also means the MX-30 weighs 1700kg, light by electric vehicle standards.
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.
"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.