Is battery rightsizing the secret to profitable electric vehicles?

Mazda believes smaller battery packs are a low-hanging fruit for automakers, but the solution will not suit all drivers. By Freddie Holmes

For the most part, electric vehicles (EVs) have been available in either the premium segment or as a dedicated city vehicle, occasionally as just a one or two-seater. Models such as the Nissan Leaf and Renault Zoe have become popular mass market options, but higher ticket prices continue to haunt even these more attainable vehicles. In their cheapest trim levels, both are nearly £8,000 (US$10,500) more expensive than a base level Volkswagen Golf before incentives, for example.

Special report: What’s the secret to making profitable electric vehicles?

The challenge stems from the large lithium-ion battery packs currently used in today’s EVs, which can weigh upwards of 500kg (1100lb) in some models. According…