In 2007 Mazda announced a long-term technology development vision called Sustainable Zoom-Zoom, dedicated to creating cars people wanted to drive, whilst also taking into consideration the needs of the planet. On August 8th last year, recognising that stronger ecological measures are needed to lower CO2 emissions, drastically reduce greenhouse gases and safeguard the planet, Mazda announced a new long-term strategy -Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030.
Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030 has three principle points of focus:
The Earth: “Creating a sustainable future in which people and cars coexist with the environmental needs of the Earth”. More specifically reducing Mazda’s corporate average ‘Well-to-Wheel’ CO2 emissions to 50% of 2010 levels by 2030, and by 90% by 2050.
Our Society at Large: “Through cars and society that provide safety and peace of mind, create a system that enriches people’s lives by offering unrestricted mobility to people everywhere”. This means standardising the brand’s i-ACTIVSENSE safety features, and expanding testing into autonomous vehicles and connectivity technology.
People that Drive Mazdas: “Enhance customers’ well-being with the satisfaction that comes from protecting the Earth and contributing to society with a car that offers true driving pleasure”. This builds on the first two points, whilst pursuing Mazda’s philosophies of Jinba Ittai -the close connection between driver and car, and ‘breathing life into the car’ with KODO exterior design.
These three key tenets – allied to a commitment to the principal of the right solution at the right time- inform every aspect of Mazda’s approach to design, engineering and technological development today.
Moving beyond current ‘Tank-to-Wheel’ CO2 evaluations (which consider only emissions whilst driving), to a ‘Well-to-Wheel’ method, which also considers fuel extraction, manufacturing and shipping, allows Mazda to make a more accurate assessment of the appropriate powertrain development paths to pursue in the immediate future.
In this context, Mazda has concluded that, until the growing quantity of power from renewables replaces the dirtiest forms of electricity generation such as brown coal, electric powertrains do not currently satisfy society’s wish for a drastic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
Rather, recognising that the internal combustion engine will help to power the majority of vehicles on the world stage for many years, and make the largest contribution to CO2 reduction, the company is focusing on maximising its efficiency -as exemplified by its new, next-generation SKYACTIV-X petrol engine- with the goal of matching, and even bettering, the real-world emissions of EVs (electric vehicles).
This is not to suggest that Mazda is turning its back on the development of the electric powertrain. The company will introduce EV and mild hybrid technology -or microhybridisation- along with models with built-in batteries and a plug-in hybrid over the next few years.
To that end, Mazda has recently formed a new alliance with Toyota, Subaru, Suzuki, Daihatsu, Hino and battery manufacturer Denso. The alliance will involve the seven companies working together from January 2018 to explore joint technologies for the combination of the ideal internal combustion engine with effective electrification technology, for the development of EVs, and for sophisticated infotainment, connected car systems and advanced safety technology.
Simultaneously, Mazda is developing its next-generation SKYACTIV-Vehicle Architecture, in which the basic functions of the company’s SKYACTIV technologies have been fine-tuned to ensure that occupants can make use of their natural ability to maintain their balance while the car is moving.
Over and above the development of individual components such as seats, body, chassis and tyres, Mazda has focused on whole-vehicle coordination, re-allocating functions to create an architecture that works together as a coordinated whole.
Making full use of inherent human abilities allows Mazda to go beyond the traditional concept of a platform, offering more intimate communication between car and driver for the ultimate in Jinba Ittai driving -the car responding almost as though it were an extension of the driver’s body, enhancing safety, peace-of-mind and driving fun.
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