Mazda2 EV road test

  • First fully electric Mazda tested
  • Total range of 120-miles on full charge
  • Will reach a top speed of 100mph

Mazda has gone to great lengths to publicise its new fuel-efficient, low-emission SKYACTIV engines that will soon make it into all of the Japanese car maker’s models. 

However, the lightweight engines and the fuel-saving technology, which includes stop/start and regenerative braking, are just the start of a grand plan for the manufacturer. 

Over the next ten years Mazda will be working on a programme to include more hybrids and alternative-fuelled vehicles into its line-up. Indeed, it’s produced a very fancy diagram outlining targets for growth up until 2020. 

So, to demonstrate its commitment to alternative power, it has produced a prototype Mazda2 electric vehicle to set it on its way. 

To look at it’s no different from any other Mazda2 automatic. Inside, the only giveaway is a readout on the dashboard that indicates how much power is left. 

Once you get behind the wheel, however, it’s clear that this is no ordinary hatchback. No noise occurs when you start it up, and when you select ‘drive’ the only sound you get as you pull away is a tiny whine and the sound of the road coming through into the cabin. 

It’s not boring, though. Like all electric cars the amount of pulling power is quite enthralling. Although Mazda hasn’t revealed any acceleration stats, this thing gets up to speed pretty quickly – more so than a standard Mazda2. Once up to motorway cruising speeds it feels very comfortable, all with nothing more than a distance hum from the electric motor coming from under the bonnet. 

So, it’s quick, it’s refined and, in terms of handling, it’s like a conventional Mazda2. The only real drawback, like all electric cars, is the limited range. This will do 120 miles on a seven-hour charge from a normal household main socket, but one suspects that if you spend most of the time charging around with your foot down, that figure will be seriously compromised. 

The other major drawback is that it’s unlikely to come to the UK. Mazda is more likely to lease it out to companies, following trials in Japan.