Mazda is finally taking a step into the electric car space.
With tough EU emissions regulations to meet, the car company is set to release new vehicles aimed at minimizing their CO2 output over the coming years.
CEO Akira Marumoto told Automotive News Europe in an interview that the company will unveil an EV in 2020, as well as plug-in hybrid models in 2021 and 2022.
Meeting tougher emissions targets
When asked how Mazda will reach tougher emissions targets in Europe in 2020 and 2021, Marumoto revealed:
"...the first Mazda battery-electric vehicle will hit the market next year. Finally, we will introduce plug-in hybrid models from 2021 or 2022. So we will eventually achieve the target, although we will have some difficulties in 2020."
Mazda has had a bit of a turbulent record with emissions goals.
In 2016, the company claimed it would sell an electric vehicle by 2019. A partnership was later announced with Toyota to develop EVs. Queries about Mazda's progress on EVs since then, however, has largely been met with radio silence.
Though Marumoto did say the Toyota partnership is still on the cards, he specified that Mazda's new EV would not come as a result of the collaboration.
The new model will be constructed on "a Mazda architecture in 2020," he said in the Automotive News Europe interview.
Very few details were revealed about the upcoming cars, as the conversation was mainly taken up by emissions talk.
All we know is that the car company's hand may have been slightly forced by the EU's tightening of its emissions targets.
With Mazda's CO2 output being well above where it needs to be by 2021; if it doesn't lower emissions drastically, it will, either, have to pool with another manufacturer to lower emissions (like Tesla or Fiat) or pay heavy fines when the time comes.
The manufacturer will hope to reach targets with its new electric vehicle range starting next year.