Mazda Kills Off Electric MX-30 in U.S. after Just Two Years

  • Mazda announced that it will stop selling the MX-30 electric SUV in the United States after the 2023 model year.
  • The company says it is instead focusing in plug-in hybrids such as the new CX-90 and upcoming CX-70.
  • The MX-30 lives on overseas with an R-EV range-extender variant that recharges the battery with a rotary engine.

The Mazda MX-30 has met its demise in the United States after just two model years. Mazda has announced that it will discontinue the MX-30—the company’s first electric vehicle in the American market—after 2023, although the tiny SUV will continue to be sold in Japan and Europe.

Doomed from the Start

Although the MX-30 wore a stylish bodywork and featured neat eco-friendly materials inside, the quirky EV was almost entirely doomed from the start due to its paltry 100-mile EPA-estimated range. The MX-30’s battery is tiny at approximately 32.0 kWh, and the single front-mounted motor’s 143 hp meant an 8.7-second trudge to 60 mph from a stop.

The MX-30 was further hamstrung by being sold exclusively in California, and as a result very few have found homes. Mazda sold 181 MX-30s in 2021, while 324 were purchased in 2022. Through June of this year, only 66 were sold.

Instead of fully electric vehicles, Mazda says it’s currently strategy in the U.S. is focusing on plug-in hybrids. The CX-90 PHEV launched earlier this year with a 26-mile electric range, and a smaller CX-70 with a plug-in variant will arrive within the next year.

The MX-30 Lives on Elsewhere

The MX-30 lives on abroad not only as an EV but also as a plug-in hybrid called the R-EV with a rotary engine that acts as a range extender. While a smaller 17.8-kWh battery gives the R-EV an even shorter 53-mile range, the 830cc rotary engine acts as a generator to provide juice to the electric motor. The MX-30 is the first new Mazda with a rotary since the RX-8 sports car, but it only produces 167 horsepower and is about on par with the EV’s lethargic performance.

Mazda initially said it would bring a rotary hybrid version of the MX-30 to the U.S. in early 2021, but the MX-30 R-EV is currently only available in Japan and Europe, where sales are much stronger. But Mazda North America CEO Jeff Guyton told Automotive News in February that “it doesn’t mean it’s a no for the U.S.” so it is possible that the MX-30 name could return, just not as an EV.

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Associate News Editor

Caleb Miller began blogging about cars at 13 years old, and he realized his dream of writing for a car magazine after graduating from Carnegie Mellon University and joining the Car and Driver team. He loves quirky and obscure autos, aiming to one day own something bizarre like a Nissan S-Cargo, and is an avid motorsports fan.

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