Toyota, the world’s largest car maker and pioneer of the mass production of hybrid drivetrains, has revealed its first electric car for global markets: the Toyota bZ4X SUV. Sized like the RAV4 mid-size SUV with more futuristic styling like the Mirai hydrogen car, the bZ4X is the first of seven electric vehicles that will be introduced before 2025. Using the ‘bZ’ (for battery zero-emissions, presumably) tag, future electric Toyota products will likely be sold in Australia, the company has confirmed.
Toyota Australia Vice President Sales and Marketing Sean Hanley said: “Adding the first battery electric vehicle to our range builds on our approach of providing a variety of powertrain options, while reducing emissions. Further ‘bZ’ series vehicles will be considered and introduced as appropriate for Australia in due course, expanding Toyota’s electrified vehicle choices.
“Our approach reiterates Toyota Australia’s absolute commitment to reducing its CO2 footprint and the adoption of new technologies across our extensive range of vehicles, whilst recognising the different practical needs of Australian customers and geographies. Offering a number of powertrain choices to suit customer needs is essential.
“Globally, Toyota has more than 20 years of proven design and development experience in electrified powertrains.
“We will continue to evaluate the market in Australia and strive towards increasing to a powertrain mix that includes a form of electrification across our vehicle range by 2030, excluding GR and performance models,” Mr Hanley said.
Revealed globally at the 2021 Shanghai Motor Show, where Toyota already sells a localised electric version of the C-HR SUV, the 2022 Toyota bZ4X is based on a new electrified platform from the company, which is called e-TNGA. Developed with partner Subaru, the bZ4X – and other electric vehicles – will eventually spawn a Subaru-badged version, much like the 86 and BRZ twins.
The company is yet to disclose any technical information about the bZ4X, aside from that it will have all-wheel drive as standard. No powertrain details were announced either, but we imagine that the bZ4X will have from around 150kW and a range of beyond 400km.
Stylistically, the bZ4X follows the same sort of theme as the current RAV4, though with more futuristic detailing and an all-new cabin design that looks more spaceship than car.
The bZ4X is the first of potentially several all-electric cars from Toyota. The Australian arm of the company has confirmed that at least the bZ4X will be launching locally, though exact timing is yet to be confirmed – we reckon halfway through 2022 is a safe bet.
Stay tuned to DiscoverAuto for more news regarding the electric Toyota range.