Mazda 2 EV review

* Electrically powered Mazda 2 * Range of up to 120 miles * No plans for UK launch...

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Chas Hallett
05 December 2011

Mazda 2 EV review

What is it? This is an electrically powered Mazda 2, which is capable of driving 120 miles on a single charge. It's unlikely to come to the UK, and will instead be sold or leased to Japanese public sector companies.

It signals that Mazda is considering some form of electrification for its cars, although the main thrust of its drive to save fossil fuels is through SkyActiv technology, which is all about eking out the most efficiency from internal combustion engines.

Whats it like to drive? Surprisingly swift. Mazda hasnt released any power or performance figures, but it feels faster than a Nissan Leaf largely, you suspect, because the base car is several hundred kilos lighter.

We effortlessly whisked it up to motorway speeds and, because of the instantaneously delivered power you get with electric cars, it feels far lighter on its feet than petrol or diesel 2s. That said, theres little excess grunt in reserve if you need to overtake at the top end.

Its predictably quiet, save for the hushed whine of the motor, but because theres so little mechanical noise you start to focus more on tyre and wind noise than you do in a conventionally powered car.

Other than that it feels like a normal Mazda 2, so you lose nothing else in the conversion.

Whats it like inside? Exactly the same as a conventional Mazda 2, with all the pros and cons that entails.

There are a few small changes, though: instead of the usual display theres a dial telling you whether you're using battery power or topping it up with the regenerative braking system. Theres also a digital readout that shows how many miles of battery power youve got left.

Should I buy one? You cant. However, if such a car was made by Mazda for the UK, it would add an interesting alternative to cars such as the Nissan Leaf and forthcoming Renault models.

Nissan Leaf
Renault Fluence

What Car? says