Japanese car maker is committed to diesel despite the trend towards electrification

Mazda will launch an innovative diesel engine next year as it seeks to broaden its approach to reducing fuel consumption and emissions.

While many car makers, such as Volvo, have said they will not develop new diesel engines, instead favouring investment in electrification, Mazda will continue to improve its diesel and petrol engines alongside other powertrains such as electric and plug-in hybrids.

Popularity in diesel cars has taken a major hit in recent years, following the Dieselgate scandal. For the year to date, diesel car sales are down 20% in the UK.

Mazda's Europe R&D, boss Christian Schultze, said: “We are sticking to diesel engines. In 2020, we have a new approach to diesel engines. We will show you how clean and very efficient diesel engines can be.”

Asked if it would use similar technology to Mazda's recently launched spark-plug-controlled compression ignition Skyactive-X petrol engine, he said: “We will surprise you next year,” adding “ there are not so many differences between petrol and diesel.”

The Skyactiv-X engine relies on two technologies - lean-burn combustion and compression ignition - to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions while delivering good performance.

Schultze said Mazda will consider other powertrain options as and when they become viable. “If we come into an age where sustainable fuels are economically similar, why not use them? We hope governments wake up and see that electrification is one way but there are others, too. Skyactiv-X is a step in the right direction.”

Mazda has what it calls a “multi-solution approach” to sustainability. Along with petrol engines and its next-generation diesel, it will offer electric, plug-in hybrid, series-hybrid and range-extender vehicles.

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Mazda’s first EV will be unveiled next week at the Tokyo motor show. The stand-alone model will be a small SUV and will be targeted at urban use, given that it will have a range of less than 150 miles.

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Comments
5

18 October 2019

I love that Mazda have not panicked and thrown all their money into investing solely in BEV vehicles without the infrastructure required to support the mass adoption of EV being provided by the very same governments pushing for this change (much like they did with diesel).  Let's hope their approach pays off, and the cat buying public still has a choice.

18 October 2019
Marv wrote:

I love that Mazda have not panicked and thrown all their money into investing solely in BEV vehicles without the infrastructure required to support the mass adoption of EV being provided by the very same governments pushing for this change (much like they did with diesel).  Let's hope their approach pays off, and the cat buying public still has a choice.

The governments have already decided, correctly, that fossil fuels are bad. Developing new engines from this point on is unfortunately pointless.

19 October 2019

I disagree that the governments have decided in the correct manner. They have once again embraced a knee-jerk reaction to the emissions issue by making such an extreme declaration. While indeed emissions need to be lowered, to say that the ONLY alternative or solution is electric is both extremely short-sighted and wholly innacurate. ALL vehicles are still guilty of emitting a certain level of harmful gases, whether from the tail-pipe or the power-station. What should have been set instead, is an ever decreasing set of maximum overall emission levels, where even EV's must declare the associated levels ommited in the generation of their required electricity. Then - give the engineers the opportunity to find the solution, whether game-changing new engine technologies to extract every last KW of energy from even smaller amounts of fossil fuels or new technologies not even developed or discovered yet, which could generate power in another completely new method awaiting exploration. The governments then would be drawn in to this also, so as to ensure that the entire power generation infrastructure in the country continues to get more and more efficient and capacious to power the existing and all future EV's, to meet these ever decreasing overall emission limits. Basically: give a target of graduated  Xg/CO2 emissions (or whatever parameter is used) over Y amount of years (similar to Euro 4, Euro 5, Euro 6, etc., standards) and let the greatest minds and cleverest engineers themselves go battle it out to find the best solutions to meet those standards. They are in far better positions to find solutions to the problems than pandering politicians, riding whatever zeitgeist happens to be pulling in to their polling station on the day: slamming the door shut on any potential innovations or solutions in favour of just one blanket declaration of 'Batteries are only solution' is just plain ridiculous.

19 October 2019

But we can't stop using them overnight. Even if we switched to EVs tomorrow, we'd simply need more electricity to power them and currently neither the grid or charging infrastructure would cope (even if it could, EVs still create some carbon emissions). Diesel engines are inherently very efficient (with lower CO2 than petrol), so Mazda's efforts to develop a clean one is a worthwhile venture in the short to medium term.  

22 October 2019

That's nice, Mazda needs an upgrade to their diesel engine.

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