Development for the 2012 Mazda2 EV has been confirmed yesterday by the Japanese car maker who announced that electric version subcompact will be leased on the company’s home market starting from spring 2012.
The 2012 Mazda2 EV which will be badged as the Demio in Japan, is expected to have a driving range of close to 200 Km, and the car is part of the automaker’s ‘Building Block Strategy’ which aims at developing more efficient engines and transmissions as well as reducing weight.
The 2012 Mazda2 EV is also part of Mazda’s plan of enhancing its knowledge of EV usage requirements and electric drive technologies. 
Mazda press release :
Mazda to Lease Electric Vehicles in Japan
Mazda Motor Corporation is independently developing an electric vehicle (EV) with plans to commence leasing in Japan in spring 2012. The new EV, based on its Demio subcompact, is expected to have a driving range of 200 kilometres and will be leased mainly to local government bodies and fleet customers.
Mazda is currently advancing its Building Block Strategy, which prioritises the improvement of base technologies by developing more efficient engines and transmissions and reducing vehicle weight. Building on this, Mazda will progressively introduce electric devices such as regenerative braking and hybrid systems. The initial results of the strategy – products featuring Mazda’s new, eco-friendly SKYACTIV technologies – will begin rolling out to markets this year. In parallel with the Building Block Strategy, Mazda is also continuing its research and development efforts into EVs designed for customers with short city commutes. Through this EV lease program, Mazda hopes to enhance its knowledge of EV usage requirements and electric drive technologies.
The internal combustion engine is expected to remain the heart of the automobile for the near future. Going forward, Mazda will continue to improve its base technologies that are centered on internal combustion. At the same time, it will advance development of various future eco-friendly technologies in order to offer all its customers driving pleasure as well as outstanding environmental and safety performance.

Source: Mazda