Toyota Eyes Cost Cuts, Scale With First of EV-Only bZ Series

By Reuters
October 30, 2021 Updated: October 30, 2021

TOKYO—Toyota Motor Corp. disclosed on Friday the driving range and other specifications of its bZ4X sport utility vehicle (SUV), the first in a series of EV-only models it plans to launch globally to catch up in the electric vehicle market.

The world’s top-selling carmaker has said it will launch 15 battery electric vehicle (BEV) models worldwide by 2025, but so far its plans seem modest compared with those of U.S. automakers such as General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co.

Toyota did not announce a price range or sales target for the bZ4X but said joint development and procurement of core components with affiliate Subaru Corp. would help rein in the normally high cost of producing BEVs.

The model would also initially be built on a mixed line with gasoline-engine cars, both in Japan and China. It will be sold in Japan, North America, China, and Europe starting in mid-2022, the company said.

The car will be offered in front-wheel and four-wheel drive versions, with a driving range of about 310 miles for the former. An optional roof-mounted solar panel can be used to charge the battery in the absence of a charging station or in disaster conditions, Toyota said.

As governments tighten zero-emissions regulations, Toyota has said it would invest $13.5 billion through 2030 on EV batteries and introduce seven bZ series models by 2025.

By Maki Shiraki