Toyota has recently unveiled its first all-electric SUV called the Toyota bZ4X. It is the first model in the company’s bZ series which will host a range of new models in the near future. The name bZ stands for ‘beyond Zero’ which reflects Toyota’s approach towards carbon neutrality.
With the announcement of its bZ range, Toyota is aiming to gain acceptance in the regions with stronger demands for EVs such as China, the US, Europe and Japan.
The EV platform for the Toyota bZ4X has been developed together with Subaru Corporation with a target to equip the electric SUV with off-road performance capabilities. Toyota informed that it wanted to create a battery electric vehicle (BEV) that can be driven safely and conveniently for many years, considering securing cruising range, particularly in winter settings, and targeting a top-class battery capacity retention ratio.
In terms of specs, it makes for a decent entry to mid-level SUV in the electric space. Toyota has been clear that every spec it released yesterday is for the Japanese version of the car. Details on the US version are expected to come next month, but it should still give us a good idea.
The vehicle is equipped with a 71.4 kWh battery pack. As for what range it enables, Toyota is only releasing right now “cruising range per charge (WLTC),” which it claims to be 500 km (310 miles) for the front-wheel drive version and 460 km (286 miles) for the all-wheel-drive version.
The front-wheel-drive version is equipped with a single 150 kW motor while the all-wheel-drive version is equipped with an 80 kW motor on each axle. The DC fast-charging capacity is apparently capped at 150 kW and Toyota says that it can charge to 80% state-of-charge in about 30 minutes with that capacity.
Powertrain specs aside, Toyota clearly has been paying attention to the features that other automakers have been offering on their EVs and packed the bZ4X with a lot of cool ones.
First off, it’s capable of bidirectional charging for vehicle-to-home capacity. It’s also offered with an optional solar roof, which Toyota says can “generates electricity equivalent to 1,800 km of driving distance per year”. Toyota is also offering the bZ4X with an optional “wing-shaped” steering wheel, which the automaker claims improve visibility.
With the unveiling of the bZ4X EV, Toyota entered the global electrification market and has plans to introduce seven more bZ models by 2025. Toyota is planning to launch the bZX4 EV in mid-2022.
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