Toyota, the top-selling automaker in the US, is launching its first all-electric vehicle in eight years.
The company on Tuesday unveiled the bZ4X battery-powered small SUV, which starts at $42,000 and can go up to 252 miles per charge.
Targeted for sale worldwide, the bZ4X joins the 38 electric vehicle models currently available in the US, with more than 120 expected by 2025.
While it doesn’t have game-changing range or performance for an electric vehicle, the bZ4X is an important entry point because it’s from a trusted brand that will persuade some buyers to make the switch from internal combustion engines, said Stephanie Brinley, principal analyst for S&P Global Mobility.
“You have buyers who are interested in trying this but may not be willing to try a new brand or leave (Toyota) to go to Chevrolet or Ford,” Brinley said. “As we transition to a market more EV-dominated, the answer is to convince regular ICE (internal combustion engine) owners to try something new.”
The bZ4X looks similar and is slightly longer, lower and wider than Toyota’s RAV4, the best-selling non-pickup vehicle in the US. It’s Toyota’s first electric vehicle since 2014, when an electric version of the RAV4 was last sold.
Like most electric vehicles, it’s fast compared to internal combustion engine vehicles. The four-wheel drive version can accelerate from zero to 60 miles per hour (97 kilometers per hour) in just 6.5 seconds, according to Toyota.
Sales will begin in states that have zero-emissions vehicle requirements and then spread to the rest of the US, Toyota said. The bZ4X will be on display at the New York International Auto Show, where press days begin this week. The show is open to the public April 15-24.
Toyota plans to offer 15 electric vehicles by 2025, seven of which will be branded bZ, which stands for “Beyond Zero”.
When the bZ4X arrives in US showrooms in May, owners will likely have to hurry to claim the $7,500 tax credit that would make it more affordable. The automaker expects to hit a credit limit of 200,000 vehicles sometime before the end of June.
After the cap is reached, the credits will phase out over the next year and reach zero, as Tesla and General Motors have already done.
Toyota reached the cap largely by selling plug-in gas-electric hybrid vehicles like the RAV4 Prime, which can travel 42 miles on electric power before switching to a hybrid system that uses an internal combustion engine.
Automakers sold nearly 4.6 million electric vehicles worldwide last year. LMC Automotive, an industry consultancy, expects that number to grow to nearly 7 million this year and more than 15 million by 2025. Nevertheless, this will only be about 15% of global vehicle sales.
https://nypost.com/2022/04/12/toyota-unveils-bz4x-first-electric-vehicle-since-rav4-ev/ Toyota introduces the bZ4X, the first electric vehicle since the RAV4 EV