You’ve got to love Mazda. The relative minnow among Japanese giants is the only car manufacturer to have pledged itself to internal combustion, not just for the next generation with its SPCCI engines, but well into the future.
The company has now released research that backs its stance that combustion is something Europeans still want. The Mazda Driver Project research, carried out across ‘key European markets’ last year, found that an average of 58 per cent of people believe that there is plenty more innovation and development to come from petrol and diesel engines, despite the knee-jerk bans in the wake of dieselgate.
Doom mongers will say what they want, but in the UK 55 per cent of ordinary Joes and Janes questioned by Ipsos Mori on behalf of Mazda said they saw a ‘positive future’ for combustion. That figure rises to almost 60 per cent on mainland Europe.
Back in Britain, some 36 per cent of people said they’d even prefer a petrol or diesel car if overall ownership costs were the same as for EVs. Only 29 per cent said they welcomed self-driving cars, and interestingly there was absolutely no evidence of greater support for autonomous cars among you guys, the younger drivers (and will-be drivers) in the survey.
In a press release, Mazda said:
“The headline results demonstrate that consumers don’t necessarily share the view of many organisations that the internal combustion engine has no role to play in the future of cars.
“Mazda believes driving is a skill that people want to keep. It is an activity that can be fun as well as functional and many would like to see this skill retained for future generations.
“These sentiments are certainly evident in the research results which showed a significant emotional connection between car and driver.
“For example, an average of 69 per cent of drivers “hope that future generations will continue to have the option to drive cars” – the figure is as high as 74 per cent in Poland and 70 per cent or higher in the UK, Germany, France and Sweden.