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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Firstly, I'm going to call BS on Mazda's tiny battery explanation... These are retroactively applied explanations, some of which are probably quite valid. For example I do like the idea of not lugging around a 60kWh battery just to drive 3 miles to the super market.. But then the MX-30 doesn't seem to have particularly great efficiency (kWh/mile) figures, going by what I've read (not yet tested myself).

From the technical drawings I have seen (which isn't very many, I admit), the total lack of foot well in the rear, and my own examination of the engine bay (which has more space than the boot, and more pipework than a steam engine!), it's clear this vehicle is a very awkward EV. Had Mazda spent a bit more time, I would imagine the battery box in the front and the Motor/inverter in the rear for a proper MX rear wheel drive configuration. I understand that a decision was probably made early on to produce a range extended version and we are seeing some of those compromises in the design. Given Mazda's Wankel engine's suitability to high RPM/constant load power generation, coupled with the low weight of such an engine I can see why this, at least on paper, looks like a good idea. But is betting heavily on no major improvements in battery tech in the next 5 years... We shall see!

I would suggest this project is an attempt to keep the R&D and legislative recertification costs low by using the (stalwart) Mazda3 platform despite its general unsuitability for the EV powertrain. My guesstimate is that the whole EV system (Motor, inverter, and battery) is probably only around 100kg to 150kg heavier than the Engine block, gearbox, and full fuel tank of the equivalent CX-30 would be... So again less work needed by Mazda to use the existing platform, suspension, ABS/DSC, etc...

Gripes aside, I have just spent three days test-driving an MX-30 and I'm very excited to be going EV from my current CX-5 (which is just too big, and thirsty for my current needs).

In the absence of any serious technical information I have been trying to figure out exactly what batteries Mazda have installed in this thing.

So my calculations based on the publicly related information are thus:

Battery Spec:
HV: 355Volts
Capacity: 35.5kWh

Which translates to 100,000 mAh
Let us assume a nominal cell voltage of 3.5 volts, with all the cells in series, that would equal 100 cells @ 1000mAh per cell.
That would suggest the battery is made up of a fairly ordinary (slightly low end capacity) Li-ion cells, I think. Anyone able to chip in with better information?


-Edit-

User @Wimac has shared in another thread the actual battery details:
So I was pretty close with my estimates, but off by a factor of two for the cell count! The battery apparently has 192 cells! I need to see where I went wrong :)
 

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The lithium ion battery pack is made in Japan by Panasonic for the mx30. The usable capacity is about 30.5kwh as the rest is used as the upper and lower buffer. If you use these figures it is about 4 miles per kwh at best. Whilst this is not the best by a long shot it is not the worst either. I would describe it as mid range at best. See the link below.


Alan
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The lithium ion battery pack is made in Japan by Panasonic for the mx30. The usable capacity is about 30.5kwh as the rest is used as the upper and lower buffer. If you use these figures it is about 4 miles per kwh at best. Whilst this is not the best by a long shot it is not the worst either. I would describe it as mid range at best. See the link below.


Alan
So even a two ton Tesla 3, with a 220mile range is more efficient than the MX-30... Really doesn't give much credence to the smaller battery argument Mazda are trying to claim...
 

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Yes true but then again look at the pricepoint...Mazda arguement was smaller battery = less weight = greater efficiency but to me that is only as good as the technology used which leads me back to pricepoint...

Alan
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes true but then again look at the pricepoint...Mazda arguement was smaller battery = less weight = greater efficiency but to me that is only as good as the technology used which leads me back to pricepoint...

Alan
Really good point, for the price I've not found any other EV as nice to drive as the MX-30.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So If we go by the 192 Cells as stated in the MX30 Battery disposal document, that implies there are 2 banks of 96 cells running in parallel.

Each cell must then be 3.7Volts with a capacity of 500mAh, that is a very low end cell... But does explains why the battery is only 300kg.

Do we know if it uses 18650s or flat pouch cells? If it's 18650 cells then we could see some exciting battery mods down the line!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Not so easy for modding 🤔
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
So my calculations above are clearly wrong.

We have a 355volt battery with a stated capacity of 35.5kWh, made from 192 lithium cells.

Li-ion cells have a voltage of ~3.7volts, so 96 in series gives us 355volts.

To get a value of 192 cells, we need two parallel strings of 96 cells.

35.5kWh = 100Ah, since we have two strings in parallel, a single string must be 50Ah... When connected in series each cell has the same capacity as the entire string, which means each cell must have a rated capacity of 50Ah.

I know the prismatic Li-ion can have very high capacities... But that seems insanely high!!

Panasonic confirms on their website that they can produce prismatic cells up to 275Ah!! The likely cell used in the MX-30 is the Panasonic 3914897-Fe-50 or the 26148129-Fe-50... anyone prepared to take their MX-30 apart to check? ;)

 

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The use of batteries in modern EV's has always dumbfounded me. The upcoming Lucid Air is purported to be able to reach a charge rate of 300kW, albeit at 800 volts! The ability of a battery pack slung underneath a car being able to absorb that amount of energy is truly staggering. Compared to those numbers, the MX-30 receives a trickle charge. Of course, in the real world, the Mazda will only hold on to 100 amp charge rate for a very short time. However, going the other way, at full load, the motor can pull 100,000 watts. Divide that by 355 volts and the motor draws over 280 amps! This, in the main will be for short duration. On the other hand, big diesel-engined cars typically have 100 ampere hour battery and no-one worries about the starter motor pulling 300 amps on a cold morning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The use of batteries in modern EV's has always dumbfounded me. The upcoming Lucid Air is purported to be able to reach a charge rate of 300kW, albeit at 800 volts! The ability of a battery pack slung underneath a car being able to absorb that amount of energy is truly staggering. Compared to those numbers, the MX-30 receives a trickle charge. Of course, in the real world, the Mazda will only hold on to 100 amp charge rate for a very short time. However, going the other way, at full load, the motor can pull 100,000 watts. Divide that by 355 volts and the motor draws over 280 amps! This, in the main will be for short duration. On the other hand, big diesel-engined cars typically have 100 ampere hour battery and no-one worries about the starter motor pulling 300 amps on a cold morning.
Yeah, the continuous current draw of a modern electric motor is staggering! My first exposure to modern motor design (and obviously lithium batteries) was in aeromodelling around 10 years a go with the introduction of the Brushless DC motors.
 

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Reading all of the comments above I think I would go for my previous comments on another thread. O K yes the range is low but gosh this is one of the best designed cars inside & out. I’ve even had BM drivers admiring my 30. As I’ve previously said I don’t think Mazda will fit a range extender, this will add the cost & as far as I can see it would no longer be an ev. I would hazard a guess that most people on this forum wanted an ev, it’s truly a lovely car & I don’t think there is any ev on the market that compares to the quality & mainly the price. We have all got a fantastic car for really a give away price. I admit I do like the Kia ev6 but gosh the price is horrendous. I honestly think Mazda would be better off raising the battery power. I think Mazda came to the party a bit late & with a bit more experience & the speed of technology I still think batteries will become smaller & better power. Well that’s my thoughts in the meantime I love this car & I’ve had it since the end of September & I’m still finding more stuff in it ( tech ). Mazda will produce an ev to favour longer journeys but will we get it for such a brilliant price.
 

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To add to the range extender point, I got the 30 as a company car (where the only car comparable in indicative monthly cost is the Renault Zoe - literally no comparison in terms of the 2 cars, even the base Tesla is over twice as much) but the Gov company car tax calculator puts ANY rotary engine no matter how small in the same class as a 2.5l engine - meaning about 30% BIK if the official emission figures put the CO2 over 50g/km therefore driving the cost up by a factor of 4-5
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I initially liked the idea of the range extender, and so held off buying the MX-30 for the past year.

But the more I think about it, I have become convinced that really the car just needs a larger battery. Not a massive battery, but 150 mile range is the absolute minimum for 2021, plus better DC and AC charge rates.

Mazda really should have had an EV platform 10 years ago; They bet the farm on ICE and it was the wrong bet.
 

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As I said the last time the range extender got an airing on this forum, it will never happen! BMW have already been down that route and dumped it in favour of a bigger battery. They just seemed to work out how much deleting the engine saved and substituted that cost of batteries. Trouble is, in each market segment, sales volume is inversely proportional to price so where is the optimum for each segment? As dinosaur petrol heads obsession with range subsides and the market understands how to buy and spec a BEV, there will be a market for short, medium and high range cars. Surprisingly, just the same way there is a market for small medium and large cars. I have never seen a review of the Fiat 500 start by bemoaning the fact that one can't fit a 2 metre step ladder in it! There is a simple acceptance of the fact that it is a small vehicle with its implicit limitations. As for the MX-30, I use it as our local car and as such, it does most of our journeys. Adding another 10kWh batteries to it would not change our use of it one iota because I bought it as a short range car. So why do I want to spend another couple of thousand £'s? It would still be the wrong car to drive to Aberdeen or Spain. I use a long range car for that.
 

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Agree but Mazda are not listening. See link. It is happening and as I suspected if they want to sell more stateside it had to happen! Not sure it will come to Europe for various reasons but who knows. The way to go in my opinion is to increase efficiency of what we have already have if possible.


Alan
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Adding another 10kWh batteries to it would not change our use of it one iota because I bought it as a short range car. So why do I want to spend another couple of thousand £'s? It would still be the wrong car to drive to Aberdeen or Spain.
I think you have missed the point, or rather I’ve not made myself clear. I think Mazda should have offered battery size option, rather than waste time on a version with a “range extender”.

Mazda are clearly worried that a medium/long range EV will eat into their ICE sales.
 

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Same in reverse. I am arguing that Mazda have decided to compete in the low range sector rather than go up a range and compete in the £35k market. There is plenty of room under the car for more battery but they chose not to go that route. Not a bad strategy for a relatively small manufacturer.
 

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I was at Mazda Stockport this morning having software upgrade, I put the range extender to them & they don’t think it will come to Europe, they also agreed that it would no longer be a true ev. On top of the extra cost of the extender there would be cost on service & parts. As I thought. Anyway we will have to wait & see.
 
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