Toyota has unveiled today the bZ4X, a battery-electric SUV, though it didn’t release any specs despite a production version of the vehicle coming as soon as next year.
We have often discussed how Toyota has been lagging behind the rest of the auto industry when it comes to bringing all-electric vehicles to market.
Despite the fact that the company announced an acceleration of its electric vehicle plans last year, the Japanese automaker has been focused on hybrids and fuel cell vehicles, and it has often dismissed battery-electric vehicles.
Last year, Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda went on a rant about battery-electric vehicles at an annual meeting, and he spread misinformation about electric vehicles and claimed that it wasn’t a good idea to push for massive electrification.
But over the last few months, the Japanese automaker has been teasing its first all-electric SUV to be unveiled at the Shanghai Motor Show.
Today, Toyota unveiled the bZ4X electric UV concept at the Shanghai Motor Show.
The automaker wrote about the vehicle in a press release:
Toyota envisions a future in which carbon neutrality is achieved through the practical marketization of a portfolio of products with advanced, alternative-fuel and zero-emission powertrain technologies. Already a leader in electrification, the company took a major step forward today with the introduction of the Toyota bZ4X Concept, a vision for the first of a global series of battery-electric vehicles to be introduced under the “Toyota bZ” brand umbrella.
“bZ” means “Beyond Zero,” and it’s going to be a new Toyota subrand under which they plan to bring seven battery-electric vehicles to market.
The first one is going to be the Toyota bZ4X:
Toyota didn’t release any specs of the new electric SUV during the unveiling, but it did confirm that it is going to be equipped with Subaru’s AWD technology:
Jointly developed with Subaru, the Toyota bZ4X SUV Concept is built on the new e-TNGA BEV- dedicated platform. The concept conveys Toyota’s legendary quality, durability and long-term reliability (QDR) in combination with Subaru’s AWD capabilities to achieve a driving experience that is both comfortable and engaging.
Bob Carter, TMNA executive vice president of sales, commented on the unveiling:
“The Toyota bZ4X concept points to yet another option in our already robust electrified portfolio. At Toyota, we are a human-centered company – the customer is our CEO and will ultimately decide which technologies will carry us toward a carbon neutral future. With investments and product offerings across the spectrum of electrification, we intend to be there with products and technologies that meet the diverse needs of customers around the world.”
Carter has previously been a naysayer when it comes to battery-electric vehicles – making misinformed claims about battery costs and claiming that no one can make a profit selling BEVs as recently as 2019.
Now Toyota is bringing its own BEV to market.
While the Toyota bZ4X unveiled today is just a “concept,” the automaker has already announced plans to produce the electric SUV in Japan and China as well as aiming to “begin worldwide sales of the model by the middle of 2022.”
The automaker also said that “US product details will be shared at a later date.”
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