Toyota Australia electricity has been delayed bZ4X about a year, in a move it says is to make sure it has the latest and greatest.
Sean Hanley, Toyota Australia vice president of sales, marketing and franchising, said: “The real reason we delayed, despite some popular opinion and commentary, was because We want to be able to guarantee the latest supply and specifications.
“So they are the two fundamental reasons why it was delayed. I don’t have the exact number yet. It’s still a bit early, but we expect a fair number of launches for this data based on our market size.”
The bZ4X was originally scheduled to launch in late 2022, but was delayed to Q4 2023.
Mr Hanley’s comments suggest the delay was not caused by any of the teething problems Toyota’s first-volume EV had – such as the wheels. quite literally fell off – but instead to secure an up-to-date model.
While the bZ4X only enters production in 2022, Toyota can roll out the changes that are happening. It’s not yet clear if these extend to the bZ4X’s electric motor and battery.
While the Australian lineup is yet to be detailed, the bZ4X is available overseas with a choice of 150 kW single-engine front-wheel drive and 160 kW all-wheel drive, both offered combined with a 71.4 kWh lithium battery pack.
Range on FWD is 516 km in the tougher WLTP test cycle and 470 km on AWD, while a claimed 0-100 km/h time is 8.4 seconds and 7.7 seconds respectively.
The FWD weighs in at 1920kg, with the AWD increasing by 85kg to 2005kg. For context, the dual-motor Tesla Model Y weighs 2003kg.
It runs on a new architecture called e-TNGA, designed for electric vehicles. The Subaru Solterra It’s essentially the same vehicle, with only minor styling tweaks and should be out mid-year.
Pricing in Australia has yet to be announced but Mr Hanley said the car would be “expensive”, like the Prius in 2001.
“Battery electric vehicles are very expensive. Don’t joke yourself. “They’re expensive to build,” said Mr Hanley.
“So I’ve always said this car won’t be a cheap car. But as we move forward, as hybrids have done for more than 22 years as we scale, electric vehicles will come down in price.”
Toyota also cited the growing cost of lithium, eight times higher than two years ago, and battery supply shortages as challenges.
The company intends to have electric car charger at 232 franchised dealers is much “ahead” compared to the launch of bZ4X later this year, exclusively for Toyota vehicles.
Dealers will pay the bills for the infrastructure, which Toyota Australia says represents a collective $20 million investment.
These locations will install “at least” one AC or DC charger, and Toyota says it expects the number to vary by geographic location.
Toyota will expand its local EV range other than bZ4x.
“Starting with bZ4X, we will launch at least three EVs over the course of three years, with many more in the pipeline,” said Mr. Hanley.
“Toyota is committed to bringing electric vehicles to Australia, in the thousands within a few short years, and eventually in the tens of thousands.”
In addition to these three models, Hanley said the company is “thoroughly examining” the production version of last year’s bZ Compact SUV concept.
Toyota has only revealed one other production bZ EV so far, the bZ3 sedan, but this is understood to be only for the Chinese market.
THAN: Everything Toyota bZ4x