Mazda plans electric push to avoid emission penalties

By BLOOMBERG

TOKYO • Mazda Motor Corp is accelerating a push into electrified vehicles (EVs), planning a slew of introductions by 2021 to help avoid European Union (EU) fines for failing to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Before that year, the carmaker will have to pay penalties because of its high proportion of SUV sales, CEO Akira Marumoto told reporters in Tokyo. The company, which got about a fifth of its sales from Europe last year, will be spared from further fines once it starts selling EVs, plug-in hybrids and mild hybrids, he said.

Mazda and rivals are on the hook for total fines in excess of €14 billion(RM66.56 billion), should they fail to comply with tighter emission regulation phased in from 2020 and in full force the following year, according to an analysis by IHS Markit.

Mazda said it set aside ¥10 billion (RM366.08 million) already this year for the EU fines.

The company said it will launch a refreshed, more fuel-efficient version of its Mazda 3 compact car, the first model built on its next-generation Skyactiv platform, at the Los Angeles Auto Show that starts on Nov 30.

Mazda last month laid out plans to revamp its line-up, saying all its vehicles will come with electric power by 2030. A majority of the planned line-up will be mild hybrids, in which the electric motor is only able to assist the engine rather than power the car on its own, Marumoto said.