Mazda has announced a breakthrough in petrol engine technology just days after entering a joint venture with Toyota to develop electric vehicles.

The company says it has developed a petrol compression ignition engine, which does not need spark plugs to create combustion.

Unveiling its strategy to 2030, the company said the Skyactiv-x is the world’s first commercial petrol engine to use compression ignition, in which the fuel-air mixture ignites spontaneously when compressed by the piston.

The engine combines the advantages of petrol and diesel engines, according to Mazda, to achieve outstanding environmental performance, power and acceleration performance.

It claimed the new engine was 20%-30% more efficient than its equivalent standard petrol engine, and said it would be introducing cars with the new engine from 2019.

The company added that it would “continue efforts to perfect the internal combustion engine, which will help power the majority of cars worldwide for many years to come and can therefore make the greatest contribution to reducing carbon dioxide emissions, and combine the results with effective electrification technologies.

However, it said that from 2019 it would start introducing electric vehicles and other electric drive technologies in regions that use a high ratio of clean energy for power generation or restrict certain vehicles to reduce air pollution.

It also aims to make autonomous-driving technology standard in all of its models by 2025.