At Auto Shanghai 2021 on 19 April, Toyota announced that it plans to release 15 EVs by 2025 globally. The company previewed the first of these new EVs as the Toyota bZ4X concept at the Chinese motor show.
It has confirmed that seven of them will be Toyota bZ models. bZ (short for “beyond Zero”) is a new model line of dedicated EVs from the Japanese automaker, the first of which will be the RAV4-sized production bZ4X scheduled due by mid-2022. This, and many other upcoming Toyota EVs, will be based on the new e-TNGA EV platform. A logical conclusion, seeing the array of concepts shown in 2019, a Toyota bZ3x and a Toyota bZ5X could be the next launches, denoting a bigger and smaller crossover.
So far, Toyota’s BEVs have sold mainly in China. The company is off to a slow start in selling its EVs in the world’s number 1 market for electric cars. Sales of electric vehicles hit nearly 1.2 million units in China in 2019, a 3 percent increase from 2018 and an 8.4 percent fall in sales of combustion engine vehicles. Toyota launched an electric version of its C-HR compact SUV in China in April 2020, under both its joint ventures GAC-Toyota and FAW-Toyota.
The GAC Toyota C-HR electric SUV is available in five variants. The FAW-Toyota’s C-HR is called the Toyota Izoa and is available in three variants. Both models are priced in the RMB 200,000 (USD 30,818) to RMB 300,000 (USD 46,227) bracket, with identical specification.
However, sales of Toyota electric cars in China have been muted. About 2,000 units were sold till October, despite the Japanese carmaker having a 6 percent market share in China with total sales of over 1.62 million vehicles in 2019, reported Nikkei. According to a new report dated April 19, 2021, Toyota managed to sell around 3,300 EVs worldwide in 2020.
The muted start for Toyota EVs in China clearly seems to have not affected its outlook. The company remains bullish, planning new vehicles in the bZ series, chasing Tesla and Volkswagen.
Last year, Toyota had confirmed it will introduce six global Toyota electric car models for markets such as China, Europe, and the USA. Three Toyota electric cars will join a large size Toyota electric SUV, a medium Toyota electric crossover, and a medium SUV. The medium Toyota electric SUV, now known to be launched as the Toyota bZ4X, will have a technical cousin from Subaru, which is rumored to be called Subaru Evoltis.