Looks like Mazda is going to do some "Zoom Zoom" of the quieter variety.

The company will start leasing the Demio EV in Japan in October, as the Japanese automaker takes slow steps towards electric-drive-vehicle availability.

The battery-electric version of the Demio, which sells as the Mazda2 in the U.S., will be made available to about 100 corporate and government entities in the Chugoku region of western Japan. No monthly rate was disclosed, though Mazda estimated the (theoretical) purchase price of about 3.58 million yen, or about $45,000.

The 2,600-pound Demio EV will deliver about 100 horsepower as well as a single-charge range of about 125 miles, per Japanese testing cycle.

Late last year, Automotive News reported that Mazda will start offering an EV in the U.S. by 2018, in part to conform to zero-emissions vehicle mandates in California.

The automaker last year set a goal to boost fleetwide fuel economy by about 30 percent over the next three years largely through its SkyActiv program, which employs engine, aerodynamics, transmission and lightweighting improvements to reduce fuel use in its internal combustion engines. Mazda has set a goal to sell as many as 160,000 SkyActiv vehicles annually.
Show full PR text
Mazda to Lease 'Demio EV' Electric Vehicle in Japan from October

HIROSHIMA, Japan-Mazda Motor Corporation will begin leasing the Demio EV in October 2012. The Demio EV is an independently developed electric vehicle based on the Mazda Demio (known overseas as Mazda2). Using a highly efficient lithium-ion battery and Mazda's unique electric motor, the Demio EV delivers an exhilarating driving experience, including powerful acceleration, precise handling and a comfortable ride. It also achieves an outstanding driving range of 200 kilometers (JC08 mode test cycle, measured by Mazda). The Demio EV maintains the same cabin space and cargo carrying capacity as the base model Demio. As a zero-emission vehicle that emits no carbon dioxide or other pollutants Mazda intends to lease approximately 100 units in total, mainly to local governments and corporate customers in the Chugoku region of Western Japan (where Mazda's headquarters are located).

Demio EV

Mazda employs a Building Block Strategy, which begins with thorough improvements in base automotive technologies, such as developing more efficient engines and reducing vehicle weight, and builds on these improvements with the step by step introduction of electric devices such as regenerative braking and hybrid systems. In anticipation of a future society which will make ever greater use of a variety of renewable energy sources, Mazda has a long history of research and development into electric powered vehicles. Through the lease program, Mazda intends to gain further knowledge of electric drive technology and the usefulness of such products to the customer.

Mazda Demio EV specifications and price
Model name Demio EV
Drive FF
Seating capacity 5
Dimensions and weight Overall length/width/height*1 3900mm/1695mm/1490mm
Vehicle weight*1 1180kg
Performance AC electric power consumption
(JC08 mode test cycle)*1 100Wh/km
Driving range on a single charge
(JC08 mode test cycle)*1 200km
Drive battery Type Lithium-Ion batteries
Total voltage*1 346V
Total torque*1 20kWh
Motor Max. output*1 75kW<102PS>/5200-12000rpm
Max. torque*1 150Nm<15.3kgfm>/0-2800rpm
Charging time Normal charge (AC200V·15A)*2 Approx. 8 hours (full charge)
Fast charge*3 Approx. 40 minutes (80% charge)
Price (yen) (including tax) 3,577,000
*1 Measured by Mazda
*2 Amount of time required to charge battery after low battery warning light comes on. Given time is only a guide. Actual charging time may vary depending on air temperature and power source.
*3 Amount of time required when using a 50kW fast charger. Given time is only a guide. Actual charging time may vary depending on specifications of the charger.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 25 Comments
      goodoldgorr
      • 2 Years Ago
      Quote from the article ''Mazda has set a goal to sell as many as 160,000 SkyActiv vehicles annually''. while they lease only 100 demio ev. Where is the ev market going if mazda only build 100 and nissan leaf is struggling painly and tesla after killing definately the roadster market and only building 1 model s a day and the focus electric is like the demio and they sell microcospic quantity. Evs are in danger to be extinguished and put out of the market and won't be proposed anymore. Even the volt is probably a money loser and can disapear and be replaced by this new fad skyactiv and ecoboost campaigns. All this website or most of it is backing evs but in reality this is just a specialized, local, short lived, small hobby for bloggers trying to get a real subject to talk and blog about. 99% of car consumers don't mind us a single minute and they are all looking desperatly for the latest maddest 4 cylinders or improved and maddened v6 with double turbo that consume less when used at slow speed but consume and power like mad when push hard. Look at the publicity on tv for improved f-150, sport suv, chevy camaro, hyundai veloster. All these products are macho and weighty and polluting and are the real faschion on actual crowded roads and manufacturers are feeding the trend. Evs are for now a curiosity mainly and polluting petrol is flowing like mad. This is the fault of the greedy that succeeded with tons of false reports and outragous black pr campains to postpone eternally hydrogen technologies. Many bloggers here are paid by big oil to do so and they back up limp battery market that consumers all over the world are ignoring completly.
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      They better be careful. When 2018 rolls around, Nissan, GM, Tesla, and others will have well-honed electric vehicles but Mazda will still be pushing kludgy conversions. If gas prices go up high, Mazda may find itself in a very bad place.
        SNP
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        This is how you get ad hits for ABG... Mazda by 2018 will be an even smaller niche manufacturer. And as soon as they abandon the rotary engine, they'll be the equivalent isuzu, mitsubishi, fiat ( in the 80's-90's). They dont have the scale to compete long term and they'll need to raise their brand to entry lux or they'll wither away. Too bad they didnt shift more of their production out of japan in the past two decades, ford would've bankrolled it. But now that Ford has dumped them, they've been actively looking for partners and trying to lease their SkyActiv technology because they cant leverage it. Mazda -> will fail unless they merge with someone bigger or supplemental to what they can already do.
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SNP
          Good point. I think Chrysler/Fiat is doing the same thing. Their CEO keeps whining about the cost of EVs but if you don't do any development and the industry moves in that direction, they may find themselves in trouble. Honestly, they all have very difficult decisions to make. But that is business. All businesses in all industries must make educated guesses about the future direction of their industry and if they choose poorly, they will suffer. I wouldn't be surprised if Mazda fades away and in the 2020s people will think back and vaguely remember Mazda as the company that kept making low-selling rotaries and did have a hit with a little convertible roadster named the Miata.
        Vlad
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        They are hedging their bets, like pretty much everyone else except 3 companies you mentioned. Being one of the smaller guys, they may not be able to afford to fund SkyActive and another major R&D avenue. So they chose squeezing more efficiency from ICE.
          SNP
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Vlad
          @Greg, I'm not bashing them for doing R&D on this, or doing anything else regarding their green initiative. I'm just stating that Mazda is in financial trouble and they are very publicly leasing their SkyActiv technology / searching for a business partner because they cannot find a viable long term strategy to stay in business going solo. FYI - Mazda sales has always hovered around 1.3M vehicles. Same as BMW/Chrysler except their sales are spread out all over the place. Likewise their marketing and dealer networks. On top of all that, most of their production is based in Japan right now - which has a very unfavorable currency rate to the rest of the world (the USD and EUR has dropped by 40% since 2007), so now they're just barely getting by with much profits..
          Greg
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Vlad
          SNP - what Mazda is doing is like building a foundation for future developments. If you want an efficient hybrid, you need an efficient engine (hence, skyactiv). If you want an EV with reasonable range, you have to keep the weight down (hence, skyactiv, again). To do well with either hybrids or EVs, you need to have good electrical control systems (hence, I-ELOOP and I-Stop). Their strategy of optimizing the ICE, then optimizing electrification, then electric propulsion is a very logical and sound approach. They are developing EVs, and this lease program is a part of their R&D. You don't have to sell EVs in mass quantities (which is something no one will do in the next few years) to develop the tech.
          SNP
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Vlad
          It's not really hedging their bet if they go all in one technology. They're just going all in one idea...and once hybrids become mainstream, they'll have no engine to rely on for an entry level vehicle. You can only squeeze out so much efficiency out of a standard ICE. Most companies are not only going direct inject/ICE improvements, they have several under R&D. It's just that they all choose one to market, and none of them chooses to lease their primary tech before they have a foothold in the market with it. Mazda has few choices in the world of multinational corporate strategies - I can see them getting bought out by a chinese/indian firm. It would be wise now for Mazda to merge with a Chinese/Indian firm now so they can still have the upper hand in the future.
      paulwesterberg
      • 2 Years Ago
      Mazda doesn't have the courage to sell this car in the United States. Their managers are a bunch of cowards!
        throwback
        • 2 Years Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        Sell to whom? Have you seen Leaf, imiev and Focus EV sales?
        Vlad
        • 2 Years Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        It makes all the sense in the world to start in one's home country. The last thing we need here in the US is a poorly-tested, half-baked EV. Let Mazda take its time and bring a good product.
          Dan Frederiksen
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Vlad
          carmakers tend to test their products. why would an electric one suddenly be all flaky and need many years of additional testing..
          Vlad
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Vlad
          @Dan: Not quite sure what your 'really" refers to. You do need poorly-tested, half-baked EVs?
          SNP
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Vlad
          @Dan, you're a moron. Battery tech is still evolving and has not stabilized. The last thing the world needs is another Nissan Leaf where the first complaint is range and second is charge times. The second any make releases an EV, it'll be inadequate and will be working on a gen 2 with a whole new set of batteries and framework. Meanwhile the one their gen1 isnt even selling well. GM can afford a poor selling Volt cause their balance sheet is wiped. Nissan just got lucky that disaster hit Honda/Toyota so bad last year. If there was no disaster, Nissan would be looking at a partnership for the future to stay viable - god knows their lux brand is trailing the markets.
          Dan Frederiksen
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Vlad
          Alexi, obviously a lame effort from an obtuse and incompetent automaker. 2018 isn't a result of needing experience, it's because they want to fight against EVs and only maybe do an EV in 2018 to circumvent california law. obviously laugh away but between you and me I'm not the idiot.
          Dan Frederiksen
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Vlad
          really? you think that's what's happening here?
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Vlad
          It's a new technology, at least for Mazda. That's why they need to test it more than any other model. Which is what they are doing, on their home turf, with fleets. Again, that's _the_ most logical way to start.
          Alexi
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Vlad
          @ Dan I'm curious, what do you think is "Really" happening here. I could use a laugh.
        Actionable Mango
        • 2 Years Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        It's a subcompact EV that looks like a $10,000 hatchback yet costs more than many BMW and Audi sedans. It will not sell in the USA.
      Peter
      • 2 Years Ago
      Mazda is a small company that is venturing with a small budget using commodity cells and a reworked glider for the shell. Its not that far off from how Tesla started. Let them cut their teeth on a Mazda 2, and then give us an EV option for the 5 (Miata)!
        SNP
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Peter
        except tesla sells their vehicles for 100k. Mazda averages 1/4th that. Globally they sell as much as BMW, but yet again, their average transaction price is on par with a ford or toyota whereas BMW easily makes massive profits on every vehicle they sell. Mazda needs a better business model or it will go the way of the dinosaurs. My suggestion is either pair up with a lux brand that has no entry brand that would complement mazda very well, or partner up with a chinese/indian firm and hold a 51% stake in the new deal - that would open them up to a cheap manufacturing base, market, and the partner can access mazda's distribution networks and tech. Or they can go away like mitsubishi did...just take a small step back every year until you disappear....or like isuzu, perform so poorly, a big firm buys you out to gain access to the low profit japanese markets.
          Marco Polo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SNP
          SNP Currently, you are in forth place as the most consistently wrong ABG Poster ! "go away like mitsubishi did...just take a small step back every year until you disappear" The Mitsubishi Group is one of the world largest corporations.Mitsubishi a 140 year old corporation 350,000 employees, return 8-10 million profit on revenue of US$ 278.6 Billion. Mitsubishi's problems with the American market were created by a disastrous foray into auto-motive consumer finance. Mitsubishi is the only Major automotive manufacturer producing a relatively low cost EV.
      SNP
      • 2 Years Ago
      Autoblog Green!! Articles like this do not attract the community. If anything, terribly ugly cars relegated to niche markets only disenfranchise more people from viewing these posts and the overall site. You need some meat in your posts and since the industry doesnt have much solid or broad market news to report on daily, you need to make each one count. No more Honda moving chairs, no more strange looking vehicles marketed to few people in few countries. Given the general direction and atmosphere of the country, I'd keep more news to political affiliation, how the bad economy will affect green research, what oil dependent entities are doing in the face of the US weaning off crude imports, influential people going against the green initiative. Also have some more emphasis on grid power generation since vehicles will be more dependent on this source for the future.
        Dan Frederiksen
        • 2 Years Ago
        @SNP
        I prefer to know what's going on even if the news isn't good. but I'd welcome think pieces although that would require people who can actually think. Gary Witzenberg certainly isn't it
          SNP
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Dan Frederiksen
          there's nothing to think about this. ABG is a business that needs ad revenue. Comments tend to correlate to page hits. There's no comments on these pages, they get little ad rev. This article is fine on regular AB because they have the traffic, but on ABG they dont have that luxury and they need to make their numbers. This article also does not make you think about anything, it's a single car model to be built and sold in japan with very low expected volume.
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