Mazda is not fully onboard with EVs.The internal combustion engine may be on the ropes, but Mazda doesn't believe the engine technology will be going down anytime soon.That view was made plainly clear this week by Robert Davis, Mazda's senior vice president in charge of special assignments for North America. Speaking at the auto industry's convention in Traverse City, Michigan, Davis said the "impending death of the internal combustion engine is overrated."
That's because Davis believes there is still room to improve the efficiency of internal combustion engines, or ICEs for short. Mazda has largely shied away from electrification in favor of development its Skyactiv line of gas and diesel engines.
"The internal combustion engine has a strong future role in transportation," Davis said, according to Automotive News. "We certainly considered the adoption of new technologies, batteries, EVs, plug-in hybrids and everything else. But they all share the internal combustion engine. So before we go into the time and effort and expense of adding electrification, we were convinced that a solid, efficient internal combustion engine was critical."
Davis was also critical of government subsidies used to spur the adoption of electric vehicles.
"Let the government keep the $7,500 and let the industry find the best way to meet the clean air standard. Make it CO2, make it grams per mile, fuel economy — whatever feels best," he said.
Davis also voiced concerns over the recycling of lithium-ion car batteries, which are more difficult to recycle than smaller battery packs used in things like cell phones.
"We need to consider that this is not zero emissions," Davis said. "This is remote emissions, or displaced emissions. We need to work on the best solution for the customers and for the environment in a common target, not an instruction manual on how to get there."
Electrification still looks like the long-term solution to mobility, but it sounds as if Mazda will stick to the ICE for the foreseeable future.