The Mazda MX-30 Only Exists so Mazda Isn’t Blocked From Selling Cars in California

Not all EVs are created equal, but for the most part, they are still new enough that they haven’t lost their allure. This is not the case for the Mazda MX-30. There are many issues with it, and you may be surprised to learn that some say this was very much deliberate on Mazda’s part, because the Japanese automaker doesn’t want to lose the right to sell cars in California. 

Two Mazda MX-30 SUV on display.
The Mazda MX-30 is the company’s latest EV | Mazda

Mazda’s MX-30 is making waves for all the wrong reasons

The Mazda MX-30 is the Japanese automaker’s first EV. Like many other brands which are rushing to get an EV into their lineup, the first entry has a few issues.

One of the biggest problems for the MX-30 is the fact that it has a range of about 100 miles. That may be fine for someone who lives down the block from their home, but for anyone who has to travel even a short distance to work, 100 miles is going to leave them sitting at the charging station far more than they’re on the road.

It’s also rather small for a thriving SUV and truck sales market. If that wasn’t bad enough, the starting is $34,470. Given that many people are on a tight budget, this is not the behavior of a company that wants to sell vehicles. Jalopnik has even gone so far as to question who will buy the MX-30. 

The answer is that Mazda isn’t expecting many sales, especially given that the only place they will be sold is in California. In fact, they were built solely with California in mind.

Is the Mazda MX-30 built solely to satisfy California?

Mazda hasn’t released this vehicle, which is doomed from the start, on a whim. In fact, it has a lot to do with the laws in California that require zero emissions. 

Forbes reports,

“Despite Mazda’s protestations to the contrary, the MX-30 is a compliance car. It would almost certainly not exist in this form were it not for regulations in several regions that effectively mandate the sale of zero emission vehicles. Mazda has a plan for a dedicated EV platform coming around mid-decade that will likely be much more appealing to a mass audience. The MX-30 isn’t that. It’s going on sale, because Mazda must sell a certain percentage of its vehicles in California with a plug.”

With this in mind, Mazda most likely isn’t all that concerned with the lack of sales. It only released 560 units of this model, after all, according to Inside EVs. It’s just a means to an end. And it appears that the MX-30 is very much not the end.

There may be better Mazda EVs to come

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2022 Mazda MX-30 EV Sales Are Almost as Disappointing as Its Range

Now that it’s clear that the MX-30 isn’t a legacy vehicle that Mazda hoped would have roaring success, the question now is what comes next. Will Mazda proceed to create more EVs, or will the Japanese brand buck the current green trends?

While there haven’t been any major announcements from Mazda about more ongoing projects, it’s most likely that the MX-30 is not the last EV that Mazda will release. There are rumors of an MX-30 PHEV, which will be released sometime in 2023.

What we don’t know is if there is something more coming down the line. Mazda has been surprisingly quiet on this front. Still, given the ongoing trends toward going green, it’s most likely that Mazda will release an EV that will shake up the market once it hits sales floors.

In the meantime, it’s safe to say that the MX-30 will most likely not be winning Mazda any awards.