Mazda isn’t exactly the first brand that comes to mind when you talk about electric vehicles (EVs). Its first EV is the Mazda MX-30 which offers city-level driving range and is rather experimental in its design. A new patent published by the European Patent Office, however, reveals that the brand is working on a Mazda 3-size EV.
Depicting a sedan, the patent also shows the location of the electric motor and the location of the battery. The front-mounted motor hints at a front-wheel drive (FWD) system, while the battery shown in the patent images shows a very thin battery pack, that is very well tucked in the underfloor of the car. We also get to see a MacPherson strut front suspension setup and a double wishbone rear suspension setup, although the patent states that various suspensions can be used on the platform.
Although the images from the patent show a front-mounted electric motor, the patent describes that the motor could also be placed near the rear wheels, providing a rear-wheel drive electric drive system. As written in the patent document, “[Figures 1 and 2] show a case where the powertrain (PT) is provided only in the power room R3, but the powertrain PT may be provided in a lower space R4 of the baggage room R2 (not illustrated).”
The Mazda patent also states, “In the case where the powertrain PT is provided only in the power room R3, only front wheels F are driven. In the case where the powertrain PT is provided in the lower space R4, only rear wheels R are driven. In this case, the power room R3 is usable as a baggage-room space or the like. Further, in a case where the powertrain PT is provided both in the power room R3 and the lower space R4, this vehicle is a four-wheel drive car.”
As for the battery pack, the patent states that it could be either a lithium-ion battery or an all-solid (solid state) battery. The patent shows a platform that could accommodate several battery sizes.
Filed in May 2022 and published in December 2022 by the European Patent Office, the Mazda Motor Corporation’s “Vehicle-Body Structure of Electric Automotive Vehicle” patent isn’t a statement of production intent as it may just be used to protect the company’s ideas. Mazda’s next EV may not be a Mazda 3-size EV, but the idea of one is certainly exciting.