Mazda will launch its first plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) in around five years' time.
Until now Mazda has been a staunch advocate of continuing to develop regular internal combustion engine technology and give its cars the 'right-sized' engines, which are often larger in capacity than rival units with downsized turbochargers but which return better real-world fuel economy.
To that end, it has not pushed ahead with development of plug-in technology, but Mazda R&D chief Kiyoshi Fujiwara has confirmed the firm will launch a plug-in hybrid "in or after 2021".
The reason, he said, was "severe, severe, tougher CO2 regulations".
He also confirmed mild hybrid Mazdas with 48V sub systems were also in development to further improve fuel economy.
All-electric Mazdas should also arrive, according to Fujiwara, but the development of these was trickier due to the complex power control electronic management systems needed. "We don't want to be a Galaxy Note 7," joked Fujiwara, in reference to the problems Samsung is having with the battery management of its now-discontinued smartphone that caused many to catch fire.