Toyota has, for the longest time, been an advocate for electric vehicles, but not necessarily the battery electric vehicle. The Toyota Prius showed us that Hybrid power could be a viable interim solution, while it worked extensively to develop Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles. Now Toyota has finally decided to make an all-electric model and has showcased a concept in the world’s largest automobile market… China. At the 2021 Shanghai Motor Show, the Toyota BZ4X concept made its world debut. It is said to spawn the first BEV from Toyota. By 2025, Toyota is aiming to have upto 15 electrified models on sale.
Toyota has been at the forefront of hybrid electric vehicles. It has sold over 17 million hybrid cars globally since 1997. While tirelessly working in tandem to develop and make FCEVs like the Toyota Mirai. But the world’s uptake on hydrogen cars and developing its infrastructure found many hurdles that to date plague the technology, thus hold it back. But finally, Toyota joins the wagon of automakers developing battery-electric cars.
The Toyota BZ4X Concept will be the first globally available BEV from Toyota. The “BZ” prefix in the name stands for “Beyond Zero”. As SUVs are the most popular body styles, naturally the concept also depicts the SUV/Crossover silhouette. The BZ4X is a size similar to the Toyota Rav4.
The production model of this concept will make its debut in 2022 followed by its global market launch. The BZ4X will eventually be a rival to the likes of the MG ZS EV, Hyundai Ioniq, Kona Electric, and the Nissan Leaf. However, Toyota has been silent about the price range it is aiming the model to be slotted into.
Toyota has also kept the technical details about the estimated driving range and battery size close to its chest. Only recently, Toyota’s luxury brand; Lexus showcased its first battery-electric model — LF-Z Concept. The Lexus EV will only arrive by 2025 however, it will use a 90 kWh Lithium-ion battery pack good enough for 600 km on a single charge. The Toyota model would most likely offer a smaller pack with a shorter range. By 2024, Toyota will have its Toyota Technical Center Shimoyama (TTCS), a new technology and business centre in Japan ready to specifically develop future electric vehicles for the brand.
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