Hiroshima – Mazda is set to invest about 1.5 trillion yen (R183 billion) to electrify its vehicles, including boosting production of battery EVs.
Mazda's senior managing executive officer Akira Koga said the investment would be made along with its "partners", without elaborating, and will be used for research and development. The news was first reported by the Nikkei business daily.
The ratio of electric vehicles (EVs) in global sales is expected to rise to between 25 percent and 40 percent as of 2030, from 25% previously, the company said in a statement.
Mazda has set out a three-phase approach to help it flexibly address electrification by 2030. In the first phase, the carmaker will make use of its technology assets comprising multiple electrification technologies to achieve both a reduction in environmental footprint and produce attractive products.
In the second phase, Mazda will introduce new hybrid system and, in China where electrification is advancing, introduce EV-dedicated vehicles as well as launch battery EV vehicles globally. In the third phase, it will promote the full-fledged launch of battery EVs and consider investing in battery production.
Mazda CEO Akira Marumoto also told a news conference that the company had reached an agreement with Envision AESC, the battery business of Chinese renewable energy group Envision, to procure batteries for EVs produced in Japan.
The carmaker also said it had agreed to work with seven companies, including electric component manufacturer Rohm, to jointly develop and produce electric drive units.
Carmakers worldwide are spending billions of dollars to ramp up battery and EV production in the face of tougher environmental regulations.
In August, Toyota said it would invest up to 730 billion yen in Japan and the United States to make batteries for fully electric vehicles as opposed to hybrid petrol-electric cars like the Prius.
Its rival Honda also said in the same month it would build a new $4.4 billion lithium-ion battery plant for EVs in the United States with Korean battery supplier LG Energy Solution Ltd.