Toyota’s not new to the EV game, the Prius (we know, it isn’t an EV, it’s a hybrid, but still) has been around since 1997, but it’s been a while since they’ve come out with anything new in the field. That changed at the 2021 Shanghai Auto Show, where the carmaker unveiled an SUV built on an entirely new EV platform.
Toyota powers up EV production
This compact eSUV makes use of the new e-TNGA platform, and is named the bZ4K. This marks the beginning of Toyota’s bZ line, which is set to have 7 models by 2025. These seven take up spots on the list of 15 EVs total Toyota wants to put out by that time. BZ stands for “beyond-zero”, and effectively promises that cars in this line will go further than just being zero-emission vehicles, which is an exciting prospect, but might sound just a tad too good to be true. Fingers crossed though.
The bZ4x itself is a familiar enough Toyota SUV, with some cool new twists inside and out, including a new steering wheel and a solar-charging system. This eSUV and the promise of its future brethren marks a sharp turn towards EV production for Toyota, following the likes of BMW and VW.
According to Toyota, the new e-TNGA platform is supposed to help with the production of new EVs, significantly shortening the time it takes to create new EV models. Having a single platform across a line of vehicles means that several designs can be developed in tandem, because the base is already set, save a few tweaks.
The bZ4X will be produced in Japan and China, then rolled out the wider world by the second half of 2022. There’s no word on pricing just yet.