Mazda will launch its first plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) in around five years’ time, reported Autocar.

The automaker has been focusing on development of regular internal combustion engine technology that gives drivers better real-world fuel economy and has not pushed for development of plug-in technology.

However, Mazda R&D chief Kiyoshi Fujiwara has confirmed the firm will launch a plug-in hybrid “in or after 2021” citing “severe, severe, tougher CO2 regulations” as reasons.

He also confirmed mild hybrid Mazdas with 48V sub systems were also in development to further improve fuel economy.

All-electric Mazdas should also arrive but the development of those would be more complicated due to the complex power control electronic management systems needed.

Fujiwara said development of petrol and diesel technology will still continue at Mazda, and there are still improvements to be made with both, the biggest of which will come after the adoption of homogenous compression in 2018 or 2019.

Lightweight technology is also in development at Mazda, including carbon fibre and carbon fibre-reinforced plastics.

The overall target for all these technologies will be a 50% improvement in fuel efficiency by 2020, which is when the company expects to introduce its next generation of models and its Skyactiv 2 technology.



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