Published on April 19th, 2021 | by Subhash Nair0
Toyota bZ4X Previews Future Electric Vehicle Family
Toyota will start a family of electric vehicles under the bZ name. The first concept is the bZ4X.
As the auto industry transitions towards electric vehicles, car companies are figuring out how to lay their new product portfolios out. Figuring out the nomenclature early is important, as it makes the slew of new car models more easy to understand, at least to some of us.
For Toyota, the electric-vehicle family will have the ‘bZ’ prefix. Toyota says by 2025, they will offer around 70 electrified models, 15 of which will be EVs, 7 of which will be under the bZ family.
The first vehicle in this new electric family will most likely be a production version of the bZ4X Concept, which was just unveiled at 2021 Auto Shanghai.
Toyota bZ4X Concept Facts and Figures
- Toyota’s first Battery Electric Sports Utility Vehicle since the RAV4 EV was discontinued in 2014
- Subaru is developing the all-wheel-drive aspects of the vehicle
- Built on e-TNGA platform, an AWD BEV platform
- C-segment dimensions with the usable space of a D-segment vehicle
- A unique steering wheel that requires minimum hand adjustments in use
- Steer-by-wire system
- regenerative energy system (from braking and deceleration)
- Solar recharging system that works when stationary
- Production will be in Japan and in China
- Worldwide sales begin in mid-2022
In establishment of a full line-up of electrified vehicles, Toyota will introduce 15 BEVs, including seven new Toyota bZ BEV models by 2025.
In establishing a full line-up of electrified vehicles, Toyota has been progressing its plan to introduce 15 BEV models by 2025, including seven new BEV models of the Toyota bZ series. In its development of BEVs, Toyota has taken two distinct approaches based on the idea of utilizing the advantages of BEVs, considering CO2 reductions from LCA.
The first seeks to realize “mobility for all,” with a focus on small-capacity, short-distance, ultra-compact BEVs with establishing new business models such as commercialization of battery reuse and recycling. The Toyota C+pod, which was launched in December 2020, is one example.
In contrast, the new Toyota bZ series of BEVs takes on a “human-centered” approach aimed at widespread use in regions such as China, the U.S., and Europe, where there is significant demand for BEVs, and where there is a large supply of renewable electricity. “bZ” stands for “beyond Zero,” and incorporates the desire to provide customers with value that exceeds mere “zero emissions.” Toyota intends to launch BEVs that will be welcomed by all customers. The Toyota bZ series models will be built on new BEV dedicated platforms with features as follows:
- Practical cruising range that considers the operating environment, so that customers can choose our products with peace of mind
- Open and freestyle interior and uniquely designed exterior utilizing BEV packaging
Development of the Toyota bZ series is based on BEV-dedicated platforms that can be used with multiple variations in terms of size and design. Since it is difficult for Toyota to prepare such a wide range of choices by itself, it is jointly developing the series with partners who boast expertise in various fields. By coordinating with policies that encourage the use of renewable energies, Toyota hopes to expand the range of choice for customers, and contribute to the further reduction of CO2 emissions.
Toyota and Subaru jointly developed the Toyota bZ4X, taking advantage of the two companies’ unique strengths
The Toyota bZ4X is an SUV BEV jointly developed with Toyota’s partner, Subaru. This new vehicle adopts the e-TNGA BEV-dedicated platform that was jointly developed by the two companies; it takes advantage of the strength of Toyota, which boasts expertise in vehicle electrification, and Subaru, which possesses outstanding AWD technologies, and realizes driving performance that is both comfortable and enjoyable. The characteristics of the Toyota bZ4X are outlined below.
- 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 plans to produce the Toyota bZ4X in Japan and China; it hopes to begin worldwide sales of the model by the middle of 2022.