22 November 2022

Mazda exploring biodiesel as another carbon-neutral fuel

While the move to electric cars continues inexorably in Europe, Mazda in Japan is continuing its 'multi-solution' strategy for automotive powertrains, writes Brian Byrne.

The Mazda2 Bio shown here is a test vehicle for a next-generation biodiesel created using biomass such as plants and micro-algae. It's called Susteo and is a combination of micro-algae and used cooking oil.

The carbon-neutral premise is that plants and microalgae absorb CO2 when they are growing and therefore the total amount of the climate heating gas is zero even after use in the car's engine.

In Japan, a commercial plant to mass produce such biodiesel is expected to be open in 2025. Susteo is used by the Mazda Spirit Racing Team.

Acknowledging the rapid global shift towards battery EVs, Mazda says many questions still remain remain, such as whether the electricity used to power these vehicles is generated from eco-friendly sources, and are the source materials used in the manufacture of the batteries sustainable and environmentally friendly? Nations where electricity is yet to be readily available to everyone will also need alternative solutions to EVs.