Toyota Motor Corporation announced their Toyota bZ line-up of BEVs at the Shanghai Auto Show. The first to be unvealed is the Toyota bZ4X, an AWD in the bZ series. This CUV plays off the success of the Toyota Rav 4 hybrid series in style.
Toyota had 4 key points that they made with tonight's product reveal:
- Toyota intends to contribute to SDGs based on the perspective of "home planet" that responds to environmental issues of global scale above and beyond the concepts of "hometown" and "home country" that the automotive industry has long continued its business in. Toyota intends to fully concentrate on achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, in accordance with the energy and industry policies in different countries.
- Toyota is establishing a full line-up of electrified vehicles, which has worked in reducing carbon emissions, based on the concept of introducing sustainable vehicles practically to the market. The number of electrified models will reach around 70 by 2025.
- In establishment of a full line-up of electrified vehicles, Toyota is underway to introduce 15 BEVs, including seven Toyota bZ models, by 2025.
- Toyota is working together with Subaru Corporation (Subaru) to promote car-making that takes advantage of the strengths of both companies. Toyota hopes to begin worldwide sales of the Toyota bZ4X, a new SUV BEV, by the middle of 2022.
While Toyota had heavily invested in Hybrids and believed Hydrogen is the future, they have quickly paired up with other companies to share the cost of BEV development. China's BYD, Daihatsu, Subaru and Suzuki are partners in using the new e-TNGA platform.
Toyota and Subaru jointly developled the Toyota bZ4X taking advantage of the companies strengths. Toyota expertise in electrification with Subaru's superior AWD technologies and driving performance that is both comfortable and enjoyable is what has allowed the bZ4X to be a class leading design with Toyota planning to have the bZ4X produced in Japan and China for global sales starting in the middle of 2022.
The Toyota bZ4X has the following characteristics:
- Using a BEV-specific platform, the bZ4X combines a long wheelbase with a short overhang; this results both in a distinctive design, and in an interior space comparable to a D-segment sedan.
- A uniquely shaped steering wheel eliminates the need to change grip when steering, and also contributes to a spacious interior; the vehicle adopts a steer-by-wire system that provides a smooth driving feel aligned with the driver's intentions.
- The low position of the instrument panel and the location of the meters above the steering wheel serve not only to enhance the vehicle's sense of space, but also improve visibility and contribute to safe and secure driving.
- The bZ4X adopts a new AWD system jointly developed by Toyota and Subaru; it combines safe and pleasing driving performance―made possible by the unique responsiveness of electrified vehicles―with an impressive off-road performance.
- In addition to the use of regenerative energy systems, the vehicle also adopts a solar recharging system; this cleverly recharges the battery while stationary, and further enhances the unique environmental performance of a BEV. It also provides cruising range that ensures customers not to be inconvenienced in wintertime.
Toyota believes they can greatly reduce CO2 emissions via their electrification program and as such plan to have globally 70 electrified models by 2025. This includes their HEVs (hybrid electric vehicles), PHEVs (plug-in hybrid electric vehicles), BEVs (battery electric vehicles) and FCEVs (fuel cell electric vehicles).
Toyota currently has 22% of their global product line some form of electrified vehicles. They plan to increase this to 70 models covering an undefined percentage of their global product line depending on customers needs Toyota will slowly phase out ICE only auto's as they move to a full hybrid/BEV/FCEV product line.
An interesting observation is in their first commercial for the Toyota bZ product line and how they are clearly showing the BEV line as an activity / lifestyle auto with the ability to play in the city and just as easily play in the woods.
You can find additional photo's and videos of the product release at the company link below.