Mazda’s first battery electric vehicle, the MX-30, isn’t exactly the most compelling EV on the road. Its first issue is range — it goes just 100 miles on a full charge, something Mazda’s attempted to solve by offering its customers rentals for long trips. Its second issue is size, in that it rides high like a crossover but is even less effective at hauling people and things than a conventional compact hatch. Its third is charging speed. Want to hazard a guess at which problem Mazda just addressed?
Yes, this confounding, half-doored EV now charges a smidge faster, according to an official Mazda U.K. blog post announcing the 2022 model. “Technical updates to the Mazda MX-30 have improved DC charging performance by increasing the maximum power the vehicle can accept from 40kW to 50kW, which has reduced the rapid charging time by ten minutes to just 26 minutes,” the release reads.
That doesn’t seem like a terribly long time, but it does speak to the puzzling cost-benefit analysis that is the Mazda MX-30. OK — say you can live with the very limited range. Well, one benefit of carrying a smaller battery is weight saving, which positively impacts everything from efficiency to driving feel. Great! The other is that a smaller battery should be much faster to charge, except the MX-30's really wasn’t, because Mazda didn’t design it with the best available tech in mind. I mean, just imagine how snappy this thing would be to top up if it could take advantage of 150 kW speeds, like plenty of modern EVs do.
This update has been announced only for the UK-market 2022 MX-30. Naturally I wondered if here in the States — where the 2022 MX-30 has been on sale in California since last fall — the car would get the same treatment. An American Mazda PR representative told me our existing MX-30 has always accepted 50 kW fast charging, and that the automaker at this time does “not have any updates to the charging times for the U.S. model.” That’s odd, because when the MX-30 was initially announced in both regions, Mazda quoted the same performance: 36 minutes to reach 80 percent at 50 kW.
The numbers are a little screwy here, and perhaps there’s more than a kilowatt increase at work. Regardless, what the MX-30 really needs is that long-awaited rotary range extender option. That’ll supposedly arrive on our shores by this time next year, according to Automotive News, at which point maybe Mazda will promote it from California compliance EV to nationwide plug-in hybrid.