Mazda has announced that it is set to lease Toyota’s hybrid engine technology to create its own petrol-electric car by 2013.
The system, used in the Prius hybrid, uses a battery combined with a conventional engine to boost efficiency and lower CO2 emissions. The Prius can run on electricity alone across short distances of around 1-2 miles.
Hybrid could be all-new model
Mazda says it will combine Toyota’s batteries and with its own Sky engine range, which is currently under development. The firm also announced that it aims to increase the fuel economy of its line-up by 30% before 2015.
So far, Mazda hasn’t stated whether the first hybrid it builds will be an all-new model, or a revised version of one of the models in it’s current range.
Step by step efficiency
It did, however, announce that it is taking a ‘building block’ approach to improving the efficiency of its vehicles. That means it has decided to first make changes to engines and transmissions as well as reducing weight, before progressively adding electric devices such as idling stop, regenerative braking and then hybrid systems. Some of its range, including the Mazda 3, already has it’s ‘i-Stop’ system available as an option.
Toyota has sold 2.3 million hybrids since launching the Prius in 1997. It also announced that it will consider requests from other car firms to use its hybrid technology.
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