Mazda is actively developing unique technologies to help achieve a sustainable society.
In March 2007, Mazda announced its long-term vision for technology development: “Sustainable Zoom-Zoom.” The basic policy of the vision is to “provide all customers who purchase Mazda vehicles with driving pleasure as well as outstanding environmental and safety performance”. In line with this vision, Mazda has promoted initiatives to address various environmental issues, based on the following perspectives.
Energy- and Global-Warming-Related Issues
Mazda’s Approach to Product Environmental Performance
As vehicle ownership continues to expand around the world, automobile manufacturers must redouble their efforts to achieve cleaner exhaust emissions, and improve fuel economy in order to cut CO2 emissions and help reduce the world's dependence on increasingly scarce fossil fuels. Mazda considers it necessary to develop a multi-solution approach to automobile-related environmental issues that takes into account various factors such as regional characteristics, vehicle characteristics and types of fuel.
Automotive Industry Initiatives to Meet Environmental Challenges
Improving the Average Fuel Economy of All Mazda Vehicles 50% by 2020
Based on the Sustainable Zoom-Zoom long-term vision for technology, Mazda cuts CO2 emissions through improved fuel economy and provides all customers who purchase Mazda vehicles with driving pleasure and outstanding environmental performance. In April 2015, Mazda set a new goal of raising the average fuel economy of all Mazda vehicles sold worldwide by 2020 by 50% compared with 2008 levels.
Improving Average Fuel Economy of all Mazda Vehicles
*1 GEN=Abbreviation of “generation”
*2 As of the end of FY March 2016, the Company has raised the average fuel economy of Mazda vehicles sold worldwide by 26% compared with 2008 levels. (Plan: 30%) (This is the result of the Company’s achievement of both raising global fuel economy and satisfying customer needs. On the estimated sales model mix basis at the time of the announcement of the plan, the Company almost accomplished the plan of an increase of 30% compared with 2008 levels. However, the sales model mix result changed due to higher demand for crossover SUV models than estimated.)
Promoting the Building-Block Strategy
Mazda adopts the Building-Block Strategy to realize its goal of raising the average fuel economy of Mazda vehicles sold worldwide. Even in 2020, Mazda expects that the world’s key energy sources will continue to be mainly petroleum-based and that the majority of vehicles will still be powered by internal combustion engines.
Consequently, Mazda’s Building-Block Strategy prioritizes improvements in base technologies such as improving the engine’s thermal efficiency and reducing the weight of the vehicle body. The next step of the Building-Block Strategy is the gradual introduction of electric devices such as idle-stop, brake energy regeneration, and hybrid powertrains.
This approach to reducing total CO2 emissions does not rely heavily on a small proportion of specific eco-friendly models. Rather, Mazda aims to deliver vehicles with excellent environmental performance at an affordable price to customers worldwide, including emerging countries, which may lack special infrastructure.
Anticipated Expansion in Adoption of Environmental Technologies (Through 2020)
Graphic representation of global market share of powertrain technologies
*3 Hybrid vehicle with a battery that can be charged with household power supply
*4 A system that converts a vehicle’s kinetic energy during deceleration into electricity for reuse
Comprehensive Improvements of Base Technologies by SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY
The term SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY covers all Mazda's innovative next-generation base technologies. Mazda is making comprehensive improvements in base technologies, such as enhancing the efficiency of powertrain components including the engine and transmission, reducing vehicle body weight, and improving aerodynamics. The number of models featuring SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY has steadily increased since the first SKYACTIV-G engine was introduced in the 2011 upgraded Demio (Mazda2 overseas). As a result of the increase in the number of models incorporating SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY after the utilization of the technology for the CX-5, which was launched in 2012, the percentage of such models reached 86% as of the end of March 2016.
Gradual introduction of electric devices
Based on the Building-Block Strategy, base technologies and electric device technologies are combined in the following three steps.
Gradual Application of Electric Device Technologies (Building-Block Strategy)
*5 Hybrid vehicle with a battery that can be charged with household power supply
Step 1: Battery Management Technology (Idling Stop System "i-stop")
The i-stop system automatically shuts the engine off temporarily when the vehicle comes to a standstill. The use of i-stop alone can improve fuel economy by 7% to 10% (as measured in Japanese models). Mazda installed i-stop in the upgraded Axela/Mazda3 in 2009 and has been expanding it to other models.
Step 2: Brake Energy Regeneration Technology (i-ELOOP)
Mazda has developed the world's first brake energy regeneration system for a passenger vehicle that uses a capacitor as an electricity storage device*6. It is the groundbreaking system, which Mazda calls 'i-ELOOP.' As the vehicle decelerates, the system converts kinetic energy into electricity, which is used by the vehicle to improve the fuel efficiency. Since its introduction in the Atenza/Mazda6, launched in 2012, the number of models incorporating i-ELOOP has been increasing.
Brake Energy Regeneration System "i-ELOOP"
Vehicles require electricity to power variety of electrical components such as headlamps, air-conditioner and audio equipment. Electricity is generated by using engine power to turn a power generator called an alternator. Approximately 10% of engine output is said to be used not for driving, but to generate electricity to power the electrical components.
The goal in developing i-ELOOP was to eliminate the need for the engine to generate electricity.
Step3: Electric Motor Drive Technology (Hybrid System 'SKYACTIV-HYBRID'
This type of system improves overall energy efficiency using an electric motor to assist gasoline engines at times when energy efficiency is low, such as when a vehicle is running at low engine speeds or during low-load operation. This system ensures an outstanding fuel economy performance by mainly using an electric motor when the vehicle is started, by efficiently combining the use of a gasoline engine and an electric motor during driving at a regular speed and during acceleration, and by using the electric motor as a power generator during deceleration to convert brake energy to electricity, which can be used later as needed. The new Axela (Mazda3 overseas) launched in 2013 was the first model to incorporate this SKYACTIV-HYBRID system.
*6 Energy storage device that charges and discharges electricity on the electric double-layer principle without involving a chemical reaction
Pursuing the Ultimate Internal Combustion Engine to Further Reduce CO2 Emissions and Improve Fuel Economy
It is said that internal combustion engines in cars only draw out about 30 percent of the energy contained in the fuel they use; the remaining 70 percent is lost. Mazda believes it is quite possible to improve the fuel efficiency and environmental performance of new engines by bring the conditions for combustion as close as possible to the ideal, and is pursuing the ultimate internal combustion engine based on this belief.The Company identified seven control factors that dictate the thermal efficiency of internal combustion engines, and developed SKYACTIV engines by working to move combustion conditions in both its gasoline and diesel engines closer to the ideal. These engines have since been used in an increasing number of models. Moving forward, the Company intends to further reduce CO2 emissions and improve fuel economy.
Base Technologies (SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY) and Electric Devices
|SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY||SKYACTIV-G||New-generation highly-efficient direct-injection gasoline engine
Excellent fuel efficiency, powerful torque
|SKYACTIV-D||New-generation highly-efficient clean diesel engine
Excellent fuel efficiency and complies with global emissions regulations without expensive systems
|SKYACTIV-DRIVE||New-generation highly-efficient automatic transmission
Direct shift feel and contributes to improved fuel economy
|SKYACTIV-MT||New-generation manual transmission
Light and crisp shift feeling, reduced weight and compact size
|SKYACTIV-BODY||Lightweight body with high rigidity
High rigidity, light weight, and the excellent crash safety performance
|SKYACTIV-CHASSIS||High-performance, lightweight chassis
Highly rigid and light weight, excellent handling stability delivers driving pleasure
|Electric Device Technologies||Idling stop system||
The system automatically shuts the engine off temporarily when the vehicle comes to a standstill.
|Brake energy regeneration system||
As the vehicle decelerates, the system converts kinetic energy into electricity, which can be used later as needed.
The system, using an electric motor, assists gasoline engines at times when a vehicle is running at low engine speeds or during low-load operation.
New-Generation Products Incorporating SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY and Electric Devices*7
*7 Availability depends on country or region. ( ):timing of the introduction