Toyota has launched a second electric car, but it’s not coming to the United States.
The Toyota BZ3 sedan was developed for the Chinese market under a joint venture between Toyota and Chinese automaker BYD, and will be manufactured and sold through Toyota’s former joint venture with China’s FAW company.
BZ3 is based on the same e-TNGA platform used by Toyota BZ4X crossover recently debuted in the US That platform has been co-developed with Subaru, and also underpins that automaker’s Solterra electric crossover.
New Toyota BZ3
Borrowing some styling elements from the BZ4X, the BZ3 is 1.4 inches longer than the crossover at 186.0 inches, with a 1.1-inch wheelbase stretched to 113.3 inches. At 72.2 inches, the BZ3 is 1.0 inches narrower than the BZ4X and its 58.0 inches tall is 11.0 inches lower than the crossover.
Toyota also claims an impressive drag coefficient of 0.21, placing the BZ3 close to the Lucid Air, Mercedes-Benz EQS sedan and Tesla Model S, all at 0.20 to 0.21.
Although based on the e-TNGA platform, the BZ3 uses BYD’s lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries. Toyota doesn’t list package sizes, but cites a range estimate of 372 miles, based on China’s CLTC test cycle.
New Toyota BZ3 and BZ4X
BYD has long specialized in LFP chemistry, boasting a higher level of safety with Blade battery. The company does not sell passenger cars in the United States, but markets buses there and is now entering the European market — with Tesla uses BYD . umbrella in some cars from the new factory in Germany.
Toyota’s joint venture with FAW dates back to 2000, and was established at a time when the Chinese government required foreign automakers to work with local companies to sell cars in the country. FAW is also an investor in Start EV Byton.
The BZ3 will likely remain a China-only model, and while Toyota is expected to launch other EVs in the US, the timing of those launches is in doubt. According to a recent report, Toyota is said to pausing some future EVs as it re-evaluates several technical options — potentially including the e-TNGA platform.