Mazda may be a little late to the table when it comes to electric vehicle technology but the automaker is determined to catch up and has since announced that it will start trials of a new electric drive system in its compact Mazda2 hatchback.
As we all know, the Mazda2 is set to go on sale in the U.S. next year as a 2011 model and this latest news suggests that we could eventually see an all-electric version, either in trial or production form, one day rolling around local streets.
Mazda will collaborate with Itochu Corporation and other companies in conjunction with Tsukuba City in Japan on a joint project to test a low-carbon transport system which uses clean energy. The Tsukuba Environmental Style Test Project is scheduled to commence in March 2010 in Tsukuba city, near Tokyo, Japan.
The project aims to comprehensively assess a low-carbon energy network composed of electric vehicles, rapid chargers, fixed battery stations, solar panels and a car sharing service. Mazda will provide three Mazda2s that will be converted into electric vehicles and will assist in determining optimum vehicle specifications and evaluating vehicle performance.
For more information on the 2011 Mazda2 and its U.S. launch, click here.