TOKYO (Reuters) -Japan’s Mazda Motor Corp on Tuesday unveiled a $10.6 billion spending plan to electrify its vehicles and said it was also considering investing in battery production.
The company also raised its sales target for electric vehicles (EVs) to up to 40% of its global total by 2030, as automakers worldwide spend billions of dollars to ramp up battery and EV production in the face of tougher environmental regulations.
The investment plan by Mazda follows similar announcements this year by domestic rivals such as Toyota and Honda, which have been criticised by environmentalists and green activist investors for being slow in electrification.
“We will promote the full-fledged launch of battery EVs and consider investing in battery production. We estimate Mazda’s EV ratio in global sales to rise to a range between 25% and 40% as of 2030,” Mazda said in a statement.
Its previous EV sales target was 25% by 2030.
Senior managing executive officer Akira Koga told reporters the 1.5 trillion yen ($10.6 billion) investment would be made along with its partners and would be used for research and development. The news was first reported by the Nikkei business daily.
Koga declined to give a detailed investment timeline, adding it would depend on how fast EVs became popular.
The automaker said it had agreed to work with seven companies, including electric-component maker Rohm Co, to jointly develop and produce electric drive units.
Mazda CEO Akira Marumoto also told reporters the company had reached a supply agreement with battery maker Envision AESC for its EVs produced in Japan.
Envision AESC chief executive Shoichi Matsumoto told Reuters last month his company was in talks with automakers in Japan, Europe, the United States and China for new supply deals.
Mazda is aiming for about 4.5 trillion yen in net sales for the business year ending March 2026, a jump of about 45% from the financial year ending March 2022, the company said.
($1 = 141.7500 yen)
(Reporting by Tokyo Newsroom; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa and Bradley Perrett)