WATCH: Mazda’s answer to EVs is a petrol-diesel combination

While most car manufacturer’s are looking to electric vehicles and hybrids as the future of motoring, Mazda is attempting to cross petrol and diesel technologies over into one engineering package.

The SkyActiv-X, a step up from the SkyActiv-G (petrol) and SkyActiv-D (diesel), remains fuelled by petrol but uses the compression-ignition just like a diesel, giving a 20-30 per cent improvement in efficiency.

The Japanese manufacturer claims that this efficiency advantage will make the SkyActive-X environmentally superior to many electric vehicles (EVs) in the “well-to-wheel” (fuel extraction to driving) department.

In addition, Mazda claims that comparitively, a SkyActiv-X car petrol model is potentially cleaner than a 21.2kWh EV, once non-renewable electricity generation is taken into account: 142g/km for SkyActiv-X, compared to 200g/km for an EV powered by coal-fired electricity and 156g/km for  petroleum-produced power.

Mazda says that according to its calculations, the cleanest thermal power generation method is Liquid Natural Gas which beats SkyActiv petrol at 100g/km.

The company believes that this “crossover” technology can bring together the fuel economy, torque and response of a diesel engine with the power and cleaner exhaust of a petrol one.

The SkyActiv-X is still a prototype, but Mazda expects it to be production ready by 2019.


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