Mazda’s new electric MX-30, targeted for Europe, makes the equivalent of 140 horsepower and has a range of 130 miles, while InsideEVs says it will go from zero-to-60 in nine seconds. “Unimpressive,” you say to yourself from behind the wheel of your 300-HP Camry, somewhat resignedly. But you know what? All three of those numbers are fine.
These numbers first came out shortly after the car debuted, back in October, and I was reminded of the numbers in late December after Mazda explained that they were very much unimpressive for a reason, to help save the environment or some such, since bigger batteries require more environmental resources.
They are again getting some airtime this week, for reasons having to do with online news cycles tending to repeat themselves. And so I am going to take this moment to say that the numbers are just fine.
Now, I’m aware of the concept dubbed “range anxiety,” even if I have I never met a person for whom it actually exists. Instead, it seems to be a general concept we all have agreed on to explain why EVs not named Tesla sell so poorly, when in fact most EVs that aren’t made by Tesla are extremely boring cars, and perhaps that is why they’re selling so poorly. All Ford had to do, for example, was make an EV that looks decent, slap the name Mustang on it, and, what do you know, the first edition of it is now allegedly “sold out.”
As such the MX-30 will probably not be a hot seller, I suspect, because its looks are kind of boring and, in general, the car feels a bit phoned in, but that’s fine, I’m just glad Mazda is even trying in the space, after years of ambivalence or outright hostility toward electric cars.
You don’t need a massive amount of range in any case, because the vast majority of us don’t drive more than 130 miles per day. You also (mostly) don’t need to go quicker than zero to sixty in nine seconds, which is roughly what my 2008 Honda Fit Sport also achieves, though that number is significantly impacted if I have passengers.
Having driven the Fit not-so-daily for almost ten years I can report that life in the slow lane is a life of acceptance, a life of peace. Why does one need to go fast? I’ll let you explore those feelings on your own but all of this is perfectly on-brand for Mazda, whose cars historically have been underpowered. And, as a consequence, the MX-30 will probably also cost less than if it had a giant battery in it that you mostly wouldn’t use. I’m not seeing what there’s not to like here.