Mazda is lagging behind other automakers when it comes to the electrification of its vehicles and it has yet to officially announce the introduction of a new electric vehicle. It only sells the MX-30 as a full EV and it recently added the CX-60, its first ever plug-in hybrid, but a new report says it could be working on another BEV, a small sedan about the size of today’s three-box Mazda 3.

The Drive says it uncovered Mazda patents that clearly show the manufacturer has submitted technical drawings showing what is clearly a small sedan that runs on electrons. This may not be immediately apparent from the patent images, because the floor looks too thin to house an EV battery pack, but that’s apparently one of its unique features.

We’ve not seen a battery pack this thin in another production EV and we have no details yet about where the manufacturer is sourcing the cells, who is building the pack and what technology is going to be used. Apparently the patent filing says that it is a conventional lithium-ion battery pack, although the source also mentions that it could be a solid state pack, which could be one explanation for the pack’s unusually low height.

Gallery: Mazda Electric Sedan Patent Drawings

According to the patent drawings, it appears that the vehicle has been designed to be front-wheel drive, making the vehicle identical in its configuration to today’s Mazda 3. However, the source says the patent states that a rear motor could be added to make the vehicle all-wheel drive – this is not shown in any of the patent drawings, though.

There is a chance this may even be a direct (electric) replacement for the Mazda 3, one that is due closer to the end of the decade.

It’s worth noting, though, that filing this patent doesn’t necessarily mean Mazda will actually build this vehicle. Automakers do this all the time and not everything they patent and trademark actually ends up being used in production vehicles. However, given that Mazda is falling behind other automakers that are offering more EVs, a vehicle like this small electric sedan would probably make a lot of sense for the company to launch in the near future.

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