Looks like Mazda is going to do some "Zoom Zoom" of the quieter variety.

The company will start leasing the Demio EV in Japan in October, as the Japanese automaker takes slow steps towards electric-drive-vehicle availability.

The battery-electric version of the Demio, which sells as the Mazda2 in the U.S., will be made available to about 100 corporate and government entities in the Chugoku region of western Japan. No monthly rate was disclosed, though Mazda estimated the (theoretical) purchase price of about 3.58 million yen, or about $45,000.

The 2,600-pound Demio EV will deliver about 100 horsepower as well as a single-charge range of about 125 miles, per Japanese testing cycle.

Late last year, Automotive News reported that Mazda will start offering an EV in the U.S. by 2018, in part to conform to zero-emissions vehicle mandates in California.

The automaker last year set a goal to boost fleetwide fuel economy by about 30 percent over the next three years largely through its SkyActiv program, which employs engine, aerodynamics, transmission and lightweighting improvements to reduce fuel use in its internal combustion engines. Mazda has set a goal to sell as many as 160,000 SkyActiv vehicles annually.
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Mazda to Lease 'Demio EV' Electric Vehicle in Japan from October

HIROSHIMA, Japan-Mazda Motor Corporation will begin leasing the Demio EV in October 2012. The Demio EV is an independently developed electric vehicle based on the Mazda Demio (known overseas as Mazda2). Using a highly efficient lithium-ion battery and Mazda's unique electric motor, the Demio EV delivers an exhilarating driving experience, including powerful acceleration, precise handling and a comfortable ride. It also achieves an outstanding driving range of 200 kilometers (JC08 mode test cycle, measured by Mazda). The Demio EV maintains the same cabin space and cargo carrying capacity as the base model Demio. As a zero-emission vehicle that emits no carbon dioxide or other pollutants Mazda intends to lease approximately 100 units in total, mainly to local governments and corporate customers in the Chugoku region of Western Japan (where Mazda's headquarters are located).

Demio EV

Mazda employs a Building Block Strategy, which begins with thorough improvements in base automotive technologies, such as developing more efficient engines and reducing vehicle weight, and builds on these improvements with the step by step introduction of electric devices such as regenerative braking and hybrid systems. In anticipation of a future society which will make ever greater use of a variety of renewable energy sources, Mazda has a long history of research and development into electric powered vehicles. Through the lease program, Mazda intends to gain further knowledge of electric drive technology and the usefulness of such products to the customer.

Mazda Demio EV specifications and price
Model name Demio EV
Drive FF
Seating capacity 5
Dimensions and weight Overall length/width/height*1 3900mm/1695mm/1490mm
Vehicle weight*1 1180kg
Performance AC electric power consumption
(JC08 mode test cycle)*1 100Wh/km
Driving range on a single charge
(JC08 mode test cycle)*1 200km
Drive battery Type Lithium-Ion batteries
Total voltage*1 346V
Total torque*1 20kWh
Motor Max. output*1 75kW<102PS>/5200-12000rpm
Max. torque*1 150Nm<15.3kgfm>/0-2800rpm
Charging time Normal charge (AC200V·15A)*2 Approx. 8 hours (full charge)
Fast charge*3 Approx. 40 minutes (80% charge)
Price (yen) (including tax) 3,577,000
*1 Measured by Mazda
*2 Amount of time required to charge battery after low battery warning light comes on. Given time is only a guide. Actual charging time may vary depending on air temperature and power source.
*3 Amount of time required when using a 50kW fast charger. Given time is only a guide. Actual charging time may vary depending on specifications of the charger.