If there is a buzzword in the auto industry this year - aside from the microchip shortage -- it’s electric vehicles. Toyota is finally debuting its first all-electric SUV, the Toyota bZ4X Concept. (If you’re wondering what ‘bZ’ stands for it’s Beyond Zero.) The automaker is also teasing a future all-electric pickup.
Toyota jointly developed the bZ4X with Subaru and it’s built on the new e-TNGA BEV- dedicated platform. It will be the first vehicle under the new Toyota “bZ” brand umbrella. Of course we are big fans of Toyota’s outstanding hybrid powertrain that CarProUSA radio show host Jerry Reynolds praises regularly, so we expect great things from its all-electric vehicles.
Toyota says it plans to expand to around 70 electrified models globally by 2025. This future lineup will feature 15 dedicated BEVs, including seven carrying the bZ brand moniker.
“The Toyota bZ4X concept points to yet another option in our already robust electrified portfolio” said Bob Carter, TMNA executive vice president of sales. “At Toyota, we are a human-centered company – the customer is our CEO and will ultimately decide which technologies will carry us toward a carbon neutral future. With investments and product offerings across the spectrum of electrification, we intend to be there with products and technologies that meet the diverse needs of customers around the world.”
A production model will be introduced first overseas in Japan and China. Toyota says it hopes to begin worldwide sales of the model by the middle of 2022. We’ll have to wait for specifics on the U.S. model.
Overall, Toyota says its alternative fuel lineup, which includes EVs, hydrogen fuel cells, hybrids and plug-in hybrids, accounts for more than 40% of all alternative powertrain vehicles sold in the U.S.
Also for those of you waiting for an EV pickup from Toyota, one is coming though Toyota’s not giving details at this point. Toyota will only say it intends to bring electrification to its pickup truck lineup in the near future, including hybrid and BEV powertrains.