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Mazda may introduce plug-in, electric cars after gas-electric hybrid


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Mazda may introduce plug-in, electric cars after gas-electric hybrid

December 6, 2010 - 6:38 am ET

TOKYO (Bloomberg) -- Mazda Motor Corp.'s CEO Takashi Yamanouchi said the automaker is considering introducing plug-in hybrid and electric cars after it releases a gasoline-electric hybrid model.

Mazda would follow Nissan Motor Co., whose battery-powered Leaf goes on sale this month, as well as Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. electric cars and plug-ins planned for 2012. Carmakers are adding less-polluting vehicles as governments tighten emissions rules and consumers demand more fuel-efficient models.

Mazda has said it will start selling a hybrid model by 2013 using Toyota's technology.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20101206/COPY01/312069929/1209#ixzz17NnECGh4

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By Andrew Ganz

Just a few years ago, Mazda said that it planned to stay the course with gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles, but the automaker’s recent about-face and its subsequent announcement that it planned to purchase hybrid technology from Toyota changed things.

Now, Mazda’s CEO, Takashi Yamanouchi, says that the automaker is looking into building plug-in hybrid technology as a stepping stone to going fully electric.

Mazda would join the fray of Japanese automakers with plans to produce plug-in models; Toyota and Honda both say they will have vehicles on the road by 2012. Mazda, meanwhile, has said that first hybrid vehicle it develops with Toyota’s technology won’t be on the road until the 2013 model year.

The automaker does currently offer one hybrid, the slow-selling Mazda Tribute hybrid, which was was developed by and continues to be assembled by Ford.



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