Toyota shows its electric future in an extravaganza of new models

Toyota’s new line of electrified vehicles, dubbed the Toyota bZ range (beyond Zero), includes the bZ4X and four new concepts, all based on the e-TNGA architecture. (Photos: Toyota Motor Corporation)
Akio Toyoda, Toyota’s boss, shocked the automotive world by unveiling 15 fully electric concepts previewing future models of Toyota and Lexus, during a world premiere event held in Tokyo last week. The event could be the largest rollout of concept cars in history, including everything you can imagine, from city cars, sedans, SUVs of all shapes and sizes to pickups and sports cars. Some of them are based on existing models, but there are also several all-new vehicles based on the EV-dedicated e-TNGA architecture. اضافة اعلان

The Japanese car industry guru categorized the vehicles into two types, carbon-reducing (HEVs, PHEVs, etc.) and carbon-neutral vehicles.

Toyota seems to be fast-tracking its electrification ambitions with additional investments to be a global leader and overtake giants such as Tesla, which has now become the most valuable carmaker. Tesla surpassed Toyota and VW in valuation as it reached over $1 trillion in October 2021.

(Photos: Toyota Motor Corporation)

Toyota’s new line of electrified vehicles, dubbed the Toyota bZ range (beyond Zero), of “reasonably priced mass production models”, includes the bZ4X and four new concepts, all based on the e-TNGA architecture. Among those, there is a sporty compact crossover with a coupe-style roofline (bZ compact SUV), a B-SUV (bZ small Crossover) design for Europe and Japan with the goal of a 125 Wh/km power consumption, a high-riding mid-size sedan (bZ sdn) looking like a Tesla Model 3 rival, and a large family-focused three-row SUV (bZ Large SUV).

On the other hand, Lexus is the premium brand of the Japanese automotive conglomerate. The lineup for the Lexus brand includes its first dedicated EV called the RZ, which is the production version of the LF-Z Electrified concept. Then there is a sports battery EV that looks like the spiritual successor of the LF-A, with an expected cruising range of over 700 km, thanks to solid-state batteries, and an expected 0-100 km/h acceleration in the low 2-second range.

Additionally, there is a full-size prototype of a large SUV (Lexus Electrified SUV) and an unnamed Lexus-branded sporty sedan. The latter also appeared in hatchback form in the official renderings, alongside a 2+2 cabriolet featuring similar styling.

(Photos: Toyota Motor Corporation)

The reveal extravaganza included another series of models called “the diverse Toyota EVs”. These include commercial vehicles like an autonomous shuttle bus, a compact van designed for both business and leisure, and a versatile urban EV.

The Compact Cruiser EV incorporates styling features from the FJ Cruiser in what could become an off-road-focused five-door EV. Next to it, there is Toyota’s first electric dual-cab pickup, which appears to be similar to the Hilux or the Tacoma in terms of dimensions, but gets modern design features inspired by the larger Tundra.

The Small SU EV looks like an electric CH-R with a dynamic styling approach, while the Crossover EV is slightly larger and more subtle in terms of exterior design, likely previewing Toyota’s entry into the C-SUV segment. Finally, there is an EV sports car with mid-engine proportions and a two-seater cabin, which could become the future MR2 serving as Toyota’s treat for petrolheads.

(Photos: Toyota Motor Corporation)

Bakar Sadik Agwan, senior automotive consulting analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view: “Toyota made several amendments to its earlier existing plans which include increasing battery electric vehicle (BEV) line-up from 15 to 30 vehicles by 2030. The investments in battery production have also been increased to JPY2 trillion ($17.5bn) from the earlier announced JPY1.5 trillion ($13.2bn). The target for BEV sales globally by 2030 has been revised to 3.5 million units from the earlier announced 2 million units, which includes both BEVs and FCEVs.

“Toyota has a strong heritage in electric and fuel cell vehicles. However, the present market scenario is highly dynamic due to entry and rapid expansion of new technology companies and traditional automakers into the EVs space. The fast-tracking of EV milestones will enhance Toyota’s competitive position in the market as well as on the stock market.”

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