Mazda's New Petrol Engine "Has Potential" For EV-Rivalling Emissions

When measured on a 'well-to-wheel' basis, Mazda reckons its new high-compression SkyActiv-X can - in some cases - be cleaner than an electric powertrain
Mazda's New Petrol Engine

It seems Mazda is on the PR offensive with its new and enormously clever SkyActiv-X engine. You can hardly blame them - when almost every other major car company out there is shoving electrification down consumers’ throats, Mazda needs to explain why developing internal combustion any further is a good thing.

Today, it’s doing so with numbers. To demonstrate what it means about the new engine being the “right solution at the right time,” Mazda wants a greater focus on “well-to-wheel” emissions. In other words, it’s all well and good calling something electrically driven a ‘zero emission vehicle’, but that doesn’t take into account where that electricity came from, while also factoring in manufacture, shipping and fuel extraction.

Mazda has given a figure of a mid-size EV consuming roughly 20kWh of electricity every 62 miles. If that power was from a coal-fired powerplant, Mazda says that’d equate to CO2 emissions of 200g/km, while from a petrol-based source, it’d be 156g/km. Finally, if it’s LNG-generated (liquefied petroleum gas) juice, you’re looking at 100g/km.

This gives an average of 128g/km, which Mazda’s current SkyActiv-G with its 142g/km figure is only 10 per cent off. SkyActiv-X on the other hand - which uses high compression levels for a super-lean burn - should be 20 - 30 per cent more efficient than -G. You can see where they’re going with this.

Mazda's New Petrol Engine

The only trouble is, government regulations in countries across the world don’t reflect this - EVs are treated as zero-emission vehicles, making generous tax breaks, grants and other incentives common. It’s also generally much cheaper to charge up an EV than it is to fill up a car with a tank of petrol. Mazda may well have a battle on its hands convincing new car buyers to shirk the current cost savings of going electric or plug-in hybrid to the potential benefit of Mother Nature.

Mazda is keen to point out that it is still developing electric powertrains, for use in countries where the electricity grids are a little less dirty (think Norway), and in preparation for power generation becoming cleaner in other markets. SkyActiv-X will feature a mild hybrid element (although Mazda has said precious little about it thus far), and there’ll be a plug-in hybrid coming by 2025.



Inb4 the “Mazda, you da mvp” and “good guy Mazda” comments

03/13/2018 - 12:17 |
56 | 2

n-nani!? combustion engine rivalling ev’s in terms of emissions!?!?!?
My respect for mazda has now quadrupled.

03/13/2018 - 12:17 |
252 | 2

But here’s this: The Amount of respect every single car guy out there has for Mazda isn’t in its final form yet in other words there’s more to see from every car manufacturer…Like super saiyan, this isn’t Mazda’s final form yet…

03/13/2018 - 14:12 |
44 | 2

Mine too

03/14/2018 - 06:50 |
0 | 0
Rotary Fanboy

Gr8 job Mazda!

03/13/2018 - 12:19 |
6 | 0

If I could, I will probably invest in their project! This should be a success!

03/13/2018 - 12:26 |
22 | 0

Mazda restores my faith in the auto industry

03/13/2018 - 12:28 |
74 | 0

And i thought McLaren were masters of numbers!

03/13/2018 - 12:35 |
0 | 0
Nishant Dash

This is exactly what we ICE people had been saying for ages! No ev is “Zero emissions” cuz the electricity comes from a source which pollutes far more than petrol.

03/13/2018 - 12:39 |
66 | 6

Unless it is renewable and / or nuclear

03/13/2018 - 16:38 |
6 | 2

ICE will live on!!! Now waiting for a big displacement and powerfull diesel which would pass all of the eco regulations non sense.

03/13/2018 - 12:52 |
4 | 2

THANK YOU MAZDA!!!!! Respect!

03/13/2018 - 12:52 |
12 | 0

I have my full respect for Mazda but i want to see if this engine can run on hydrogen fuel efficiently for curiosity of course.

03/13/2018 - 13:07 |
0 | 0


Sponsored Posts