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Mazda to invest $11 billion to electrify its vehicles

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Japan’s Mazda Motor Corp will invest about 1.5 trillion yen ($10.58 billion)to electrify its vehicles, including boosting production of battery EVs, and aims to increase their share in the company’s overall global car sales by 2030.

Mazda’s senior managing executive officer Akira Koga said the investment would be made along with its “partners,” without elaborating, and will be used for research and development. The news was first reported by the Nikkei business daily.

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The ratio of electric vehicles (EVs) in global sales is expected to rise to between 25 percent and 40 percent as of 2030, from 25% previously, the company said in a statement.

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Mazda CEO Akira Marumoto also told a news conference that the company had reached an agreement with Envision AESC, the battery business of Chinese renewable energy group Envision, to procure batteries for EVs produced in Japan.

The automaker also said it had agreed to work with seven companies, including electric component manufacturer Rohm Co , to jointly develop and produce electric drive units.

Automakers worldwide are spending billions of dollars to ramp up battery and EV production in the face of tougher environmental regulations.

In August, Toyota Motor Corp said it would invest up to 730 billion yen in Japan and the United States to make batteries for fully electric vehicles as opposed to hybrid gasoline-electric cars like the Prius.

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Its rival Honda Motor Co also said in the same month it would build a new $4.4 billion lithium-ion battery plant for EVs in the United States with Korean battery supplier LG Energy Solution Ltd.

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.

Shoichi Matsumoto, Envision AESC chief executive, told Reuters last month it was in talks with automakers in Japan, Europe, the United States and China for new supply deals.

Envision AESC, based in Japan, was originally established as a joint venture between Nissan Motor Co, NEC Corp and its subsidiary NEC TOKIN Corporation. ($1 = 141.7400 yen) ($1 = 141.7500 yen) (Reporting by Tokyo Newsroom; Editing by Christopher Cushing, Kenneth Maxwell and Ana Nicolaci da Costa)

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