An electric SUV is in the works at Mazda as they partner up with the Chinese automaker, Changan Automobile Group. As per a report from the Japanese Nikkei Asian Review, both organizations have come together to create and produce a battery-powered SUV crossover that is set to launch in 2019.
Since 2012, Changan and Mazda have been collaborating with each other in a 50/50 joint venture, and the two auto companies have had a relationship with each other that stems from the mid-2000s. The Review report reveals that Changan will provide a significant portion of the SUV’s drivetrain, which includes motors and batteries; meanwhile, Mazda will take care of building the vehicle’s body.
CNET reported that this partnership to create an electric SUV comes on the cusp of officials in China pushing to adhere to stricter clean-air regulations. The nation is currently the largest market globally when it comes to EVs and is leading the world when it comes to supporting electrification via its government policies.
China 2019 legislation is expected to place a bid around proliferation of ‘new energy’ vehicles widespread across the country (i.e. electric vehicles). As the government has already indicated for a long time now to mandate foreign partners with domestic organization if they plan to develop new autos for customers in China (and not be subjected to higher taxes), the developments as it relates to EVs are sure to follow the same type of path.
The collaboration between Mazda and Changan currently provides Mazda CX-3 and CX-5 small crossover versions, in addition to versions of hatchback and sedans of the Axela (familiar to North American customers as Mazda 3)
Both auto manufacturers have yet to comment on their plans around the Mazda Electric Sports Utility Vehicle that will be released sometime next year.