Mazda to lease EVs in Japan from 2012
The new EV is expected to have a driving range of 200 kilometres and will be leased mainly to local government bodies and fleet customers.
The carmaker said that the lease programme would help enhance its knowledge of EV usage requirements and electric drive technologies.
However, it added that: 'The internal combustion engine is expected to remain the heart of the automobile for the near future,' and said that it will continue to improve its base technologies that are based on internal combustion.
Mazda had previously said that it would be looking to use electric devices such as regenerative braking and hybrid systems to enhance engines and transmissions through its Building Block Strategy.
The firm said that its development of various future eco-friendly technologies will offer customers 'driving pleasure as well as outstanding environmental and safety performance'.