Mazda to Begin Leasing Demio EVs in Japan

This October in Japan, Mazda will tentatively put its feet in the EV waters by way of a lease program involving versions of the Demio (Mazda 2) Electric Vehicle.

The cars will mainly be procured by local government agencies, with 100 in total expected to be leased, though some will be offered to Mazda’s corporate customers, primarily in Western Japan, near the company’s Hiroshima headquarters.

The independently developed Demio EV incorporates some fairly clever features, including a three-phase permanent magnet synchronous electric motor with a coil switching system. Smaller than most traditional electric motors, the coil switching setup enables it to deliver both low and high torque at low and high revs (most units can only deliver high torque at low rpm and vice versa).

Demio_Motor

Combined with a centrally mounted battery pack that uses an aluminum casing to reduce weight, performance of the Demio EV is said to be sprightly at both low and higher speeds, with the car’s weight distribution delivering good handling and a compliant ride. Two drive modes, regular D, and Eco are offered (the latter increasing regenerative braking under deceleration). A Charge Switch is incorporated to further increase the regenerative process, especially when descending grades.

Mazda will be offering the Demio EV at 3,577,00 yen ($44,746). Although clearly a small-scale pilot program, it will be interesting to see the feedback generated from the leased EVs once they hit the market this fall.

Green Car Congress


  • FamilyGuy

    This is nice and all, but so far down the road before this affects me. What I’d rather read is that Mazda is putting their SKYACTIV engine in the Mazda5 for 2013.

  • Al Bunzel

    When can people who are not in Japanese government or corporate customers be able to get their hands on one of these Electric Cars?
    Making us wait (forever)??

    No wonder why people are doing their own Electric Car Conversions. Just have a look at http://www.evalbum.com to see how many people do their own conversions. A number have already converted Mazda pick up trucks and the Miata/MX5 cars.

  • auto review blog

    It looks good. Sure, The smile is still there but no longer accentuated by the chrome. Not that I ever minded the smile — It was refreshingly different in a world where it seems people need their cars have to have an overtly angry look (e.g. current Infiniti fx; last gen BMW 5 series; Chevy sonic). Mazdas have nothing to prove. They’re just about the joy of driving …and that’s why theyre smiling!