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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Mazda Could Be Hitting A Ceiling When It Comes To Fuel Economy

      Mazda has a tough road ahead when it comes to meeting fuel economy standards for their fleet

    Mazda has been leading the pack when it comes to fuel economy. This year, the Japanese automaker became the first non-electric automaker to reach 100 percent compliance with the 2016 CAFE standards (fleet average of 34.1 mpg). Mazda credits their Skyactiv technologies of pulling this feat off. But future standards may put Mazda in a difficult spot.


    During a roundtable last week, Masahiro Moro, CEO of Mazda North American Operations said meeting CAFE standards for 2025 will be very tough.


    “For 2021, we are very confident we will meet the CAFE standards. 2025 is another story because the requirement level is very, very high,” said Moro.


    At the time of the roundtable, the U.S. Government hadn't cut the 2025 goal of 54.5 mpg. But even achieving between an average of 50 to 52.6 for the fleet will be difficult, especially with Mazda wanting to sell more crossovers. Moro said that the automaker would have to likely embrace some sort of electrification plan, most likely a hybrid system.


    But there is another stumbling block Mazda needs to figure out. By 2025, California and nine other states have mandated that 15 percent of new car sales need to be zero-emission vehicles.


    “To me, the biggest regulatory headache right now is ZEV,” said Moro.


    In the meantime, Moro said that the company would be introducing the second-generation of their Skyactiv technologies in 2017. This will be the main motivator for Mazda to meet the 2021 standards. The key part of the second-generation Skyactiv technologies will be homogenous-charge compression ignition combustion (HCCI) engines that mimic the compression combustion found in diesel engines. We have heard automakers working on this technology and some even announcing that it would be out in few years time, and not happening. Moro admits that HCCI engines are a “very difficult and delicate technology,” so Mazda is trying its best to make sure the engines are durable.


    As for the diesel engine in the U.S., Moro said a decision would be coming shortly. Later in the week, Mazda CEO Masamichi Kogai to Automotive News that the company is still planning a debut of their diesel engine for the U.S. In fact, there is an internal timeline for the launch. But he isn't saying anything about the timeline.


    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), 2

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    Mazda is going to have to do what everyone else is doing, they are going to have to offer an EV and or Hydrogen auto if they want to play in the California market.


    Forget the Diesel, that is a dead duck rotting, they need to get plug-in hybrids and EVs and get going otherwise they will end up merging into another company or totally just dying.


    I honestly will be surprised if Mazda gets a diesel approved for selling in the US market. The EPA is not in any mood to approve diesel cars right now and I suspect the whole diesel thing will just go away as Mazda focuses on what they have to do to meet the CARB requirement for CA.

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    The original post clearly illustrates what is wrong with these intrusive CAFE regulations... just as they apply to a small, yet responsible company like Mazda.  They already have a high fleet average because they don't sell anything big like Americans want, yet they are forced to fret over what is threatened down the road.


    It is not right.


    And California can secede.  PLEASE BREAK OFF AND FLOAT SOMEWHERE, LOONS.  So weird.

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    Maybe HCCI can actually use E15 or higher and be better for it.


    But I have to think these HCCI engines will require premium fuel. Probably negating much of the MPG gains in terms of cost savings. And the spread between regular and premium is the highest it's ever been these days.



    I think more and more electric cars are the future, and much faster than we think if this is the level of regulations that will be maintained.

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    They will have to have hybrid and EVs in the mix.  You can go to an 8 speed auto and get 1 mpg, or try to go from the 2.5 liter down to a 2.0 liter and get 1 mpg, but they aren't going to be able to get much more.  They will have to have plug ins like everyone else.

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