2022 Mazda MX-30 EV: The Rotary Is Returning to America… Kind Of

This battery-only model is destined solely for California and the rotary-assisted MX-30 might be, too.

byChris Tsui|
Electric Vehicles photo

Early in the year, Mazda confirmed that its all-electric MX-30 crossover would come to the U.S. Now, we have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that, yes, the car will be coming to America and Mazda has released some official U.S.-spec photos and stats. The automaker even promises that a future MX-30 equipped with the newfangled rotary range extender will be sold stateside. The bad news is that the EV, and possibly the rotary-assisted model too, will only be available in the state of California for the time being.

With that caveat out of the way, here are the MX-30 EV's headline numbers and facts: a 35.5-kWh floor-mounted lithium-ion battery supports a front-mounted electric motor making 144 horsepower and 200 pound-feet of torque. Said battery can be charged from 20 to 80 percent in 36 minutes using 50-kWh DC fast charging and Mazda will be working with ChargePoint to provide owners with places to charge their MX-30s outside of home. Official EPA-rated range has yet to be announced but, for what it's worth, this car is good for 124 miles of range on the generally more lenient WLTP cycle overseas. 


As the brand's first EV, Mazda says the MX-30 will offer the same fun and premium driving dynamics of a regular Mazda, as will the bunch of future electrified cars the company has in the pipeline, including a plug-in hybrid MX-30 with the rotary range extender. In case you needed more evidence of the MX-30's status as a True Mazda, it also features "freestyle" suicide rear doors just like an RX-8 and uses cork in the center console and door grips, a renewable material that also tips its cap to Mazda's genesis as a cork manufacturer over a century ago. 

Mazda North America President Jeff Guyton said in a release, "The battery-powered MX-30 will begin the introduction of additional electrified models, including a series plug-in hybrid with a rotary generator for MX-30, a plug-in hybrid for our new large platform, and a traditional hybrid for our new American-made crossover. While these powertrains will be optimized for their platforms, Mazda fans can expect great driving dynamics and beautiful design across all models."

A mobile MyMazda app can be used to do stuff like monitor the MX-30's charge level and charging progress, lock the doors, and adjust the HVAC.

As for how the rotary will be incorporated in the plug-in MX-30, Mazda says it'll strictly play a supporting role, only stepping in to recharge the battery as needed rather than powering the wheels. And, if Mazda's engineering goals are successful, you'll barely even hear it. "The rotary generator will mark the return of our unique rotary powertrain," said Guyton. "This technology is being engineered for nearly silent operation and will replenish the battery rather than drive the wheels. As a result, the MX-30 will always drive like the engaging EV that it is, but with freedom to charge from the wall or on the go."

When we asked Mazda whether or not it plans to offer the MX-30 or any of its future EVs and hybrids anywhere in the U.S. outside of the Golden State, the company says sales will commence in "other states" starting in 2022 depending on demand. 

"Mazda has strategically decided to roll out its first electric vehicle in California, before expanding to other states in 2022," a spokesperson told The Drive. "Mazda will pursue a national rollout over the coming years. Additional states will be added based on customer demand. The debut and availability of the future hybrids mentioned will be announced at a later date."

In any case, the MX-30 BEV will become available from California Mazda dealerships this fall. Pricing has yet to be revealed.

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