The Toyota Prius was years ahead of the competition when it first arrived, but the automaker has grown somewhat in the EV space since then. That’s no longer the case, as the company today revealed what many will consider to be its first truly fully electric car. This is the Toyota bZ4X, and it’s packed with technology.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen the bZ4X, as Toyota announced it as a concept in April, along with details of its new “Beyond Zero” electric vehicle sub-brand. We didn’t get any information about the specifications, features or a possible release date at the time, but now it’s all official.
The all-new Toyota bZ4X is similar in size to the RAV4, and features sharp lines and plenty of battery electric power in its mid-size crossover. It will begin shipping in mid-2022, starting in Japan, and eventually roll out to other large markets, including the United States.
While Toyota has technically shown all-battery electric cars before in Japan, this is its first complete platform specifically designed for electric vehicles. While the bZ4X is its first true electric car for multiple markets, we expect more soon.
As for specifications and features, the car is equipped with a 71.4 kWh battery pack capable of nearly 500 km (310 mi) per charge for the front-wheel drive model, along with a single 150 kW motor. However, Toyota has clarified that these specs are for the Japanese model, and will share more information about the US version later. The company will also offer a variant of its all-wheel drive (AWD) system that should reach about 460 km or 286 miles per charge, thanks to 80 kW motors on each axle.
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Like many other EV models these days, DC fast charging caps around 150 kW, but Toyota claims it will charge to 80 percent in about 30 minutes.
Toyota will offer the bZ4X with an optional “wing-shaped” steering wheel similar to that found in the new Tesla Model S. However, the company claims to have a suite of technologies on board (such as the steering system by wire) that should make it more comfortable for drivers.
After that, buyers can get an optional roof from solar panels, which Toyota says “can generate electricity equivalent to 1,800 km of driving distance annually.” And speaking of technology, the car will have several driving modes, two large screens, including a display for the instrument clusters, and plenty of other smart features that you’ll share later.
That’s all we know so far, but we expect to learn more details about pricing, specs, and availability for the US models in the coming months.