Everything You Need to Know About Toyota Electric Cars

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Toyota is ending its eight-year hiatus from the all-electric vehicle market with the anticipated release of the 2023 bZ4x. This single EV line-up is anticipated to grow rapidly by 2025.
It may come as a surprise that one of the largest automotive manufacturers in the world is only just starting to break—or should we say “rebreak”?—into all-electric manufacturing. Toyota showed an early interest in the market, producing the Rav4 EV as early as 1997, but has kept to hybrids and combustion engines since this EV’s discontinuation in 2014. 
What’s in store for the all-electric future of this global automotive leader? The licensed car insurance broker and first super app for car owners Jerry is here to give you the lowdown on Toyota’s anticipated fleet of EVs. We’re covering everything we know about upcoming releases, how they compare to competitors, and the best way to save on insurance for your green vehicle. 
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Does Toyota have electric cars?

Toyota had electric cars, and it will have electric cars—but as of the 2022 model year, Toyota does not have any electric cars in its lineup and hasn’t since 2014. 
Toyota had an all-electric Rav4 EV in its lineup from 1997 to 2003 and once again from 2012 to 2014. However, this early EV was highly unsuccessful—due in part to the fact that it was only built and sold in California to comply with the state’s zero-emission vehicle standards for manufacturers.
In the eight years that have passed since the Rav4 EV’s discontinuation, Toyota has made significant strides in the Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid markets, and even in Fuel Cell vehicles—which run on a mixture of hydrogen fuel and electricity. However, good things are on the horizon for Toyota’s all-electric future with the 2023 bZ4x slated for release in mid-2022 and more electric vehicles to follow closely behind. 
Here’s what we know.

2023 Toyota bZ4X

Starting price: $43,215
Powertrain: Single electric motor and a 63.4-kWh battery pack (FWD) w/ 201 hp and 196 lb-ft of torque; or dual electric motors and a 65.5-kWh battery pack (AWD) w/ 214 hp and 248 lb-ft of torque
Driving range: 222 to 252 miles
Charging time: 9 hours at 240 volts
Toyota is hitting the ground running with the 2023 bZ4X all-electric crossover. If the popular class of this breakout EV isn’t enough to draw attention, the bZ4X’s edgy design and striking lines certainly will.
The Toyota bZ4X has limited trim options, but you probably won’t need that much extra. The entry-level XLE trim comes with plenty of standard features like adaptive cruise control, lane-keep and departure assistance, blind-spot monitoring, a panoramic sunroof, and a 12.3-inch decked-out infotainment touchscreen. Upgrading to the Limited trim adds faux-leather finishing, a multi-view camera, heated seats and steering wheel, and a motion-activated power liftgate. Either trim can be had with single-motor FWD or dual-motor AWD
The driving range varies depending on your bZ4X’s trim and drivetrain configuration:
TrimDrivetrainHorsepowerTorqueDriving Range
bZ4X XLEFWD201 hp196 lb-ft252 miles
bZ4X LimitedFWD201 hp196 lb-ft242 miles
bZ4X XLEAWD214 hp248 lb-ft228 miles
bZ4X LimitedAWD214 hp248 lb-ft222 miles
However, all models can charge at home with a Level 2 supply in 9 hours and can refill 80% of their charge in about an hour. A year of complimentary charging with EVgo is included with the purchase. The Toyota bZ4X is already available for preorder with a $500 refundable deposit.

2024 Toyota bZ5X

Starting price: est. around $50,000
Powertrain: N/A
Driving range: N/A
Charging time: N/A
The bZ4X is the first model in an entire line of “Beyond Zero” all-electric vehicles. The bZ5X is this line’s next anticipated release. There is still very little information on this all-electric SUV—including whether or not it will actually be here in 2024. However, Toyota fans have plenty of theories about what’s in store for the sophomore EV. 
We do know that the bZ5X will offer a larger alternative to the bZ4X crossover, with three rows of seating instead of two—essentially an electric alternative to the gas-powered Highlander. Based on the concept vehicle, it’s safe to say that the bZ5X will also attempt to turn heads with an eye-catching and unconventional exterior design, although no details are available on the interior.
The powertrain is expected to ditch lithium-ion batteries in favor of solid-state batteries paired with an AWD dual electric motor. Seeing as its smaller predecessor has a driving range of up to 250 miles, the bZ5X will be remiss if its driving range doesn’t at least surpass 200 miles.

How do Toyota’s electric cars compare to competitors?

While you may not be able to test drive the upcoming bZ4X just yet, you can look to the available specs and real results of professional driving tests to see how the crossover compares to its all-electric competitors.
Brand loyalty and personal aesthetic preferences are major players when you’re comparing manufacturers. Perhaps you’re on the market to switch things up with an unconventional design or you’re ready to retire your tried-and-true Prius for an all-electric upgrade. Consider driving range and charging time, performance, and affordability to see if the Toyota bZ4X is right for you. 

Driving range and charging time

Driving ranges and charging times can help you determine the convenience of an electric vehicle. The farther your electric vehicle can travel on a single charge and the faster it can refill a charge, the better. 
The bZ4X certainly isn’t breaking any records in these departments. It has the new Ford Mustang Mach E beat for charging time, but the Mach E far surpasses on driving range with up to 317. Tesla leads the pack with consistent driving ranges over 300 miles, but the bZ4X can at least hold its own against the Kia Niro EV and the Hyundai Kona Electric.
See the numbers for yourself in this breakdown of Toyota’s new EV crossover compared to its competitors.
ModelDriving rangeCharging time at 220vCharging time w DC fast charger
2023 Toyota bZ4X222-252 miles9 hrs0-80% in 1 hour
2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E247-317 miles11.4 hrs10-80% in 45 min
2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV247 miles7.5 hrs93 mi range in 30 min
2022 Kia Niro EV239 miles9 hrs10-80% in 1 hr
2022 Hyundai Kona Electric258 miles10 hrs10-80% in 75 min
2022 Volkswagen ID.4280 miles7.5 hrs0-80% in 38 min
2022 Tesla Model Y303-330 miles10 hrs10-80% in 22 min
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Performance

The amenities on a bZ4x may be more than satisfactory for a non-luxury SUV, but its power and speed have the potential to fall short. On paper, it should perform relatively average, especially compared to the Kia Niro EV and Hyundai Kona Electric. Acceleration lags—so don’t expect any major thrills like the Tesla Model Y is packing—but in exchange, you can expect to reap the benefits of Toyota’s 4/5 reliability rating.
You’ll have to see for yourself how the bZ4X’s numbers translate to actual driving feel. In the meantime, here are some specs to compare:
ModelMaximum horsepowerMaximum torque0 to 60 time
2022 Toyota bZ4X214 hp248 lb-ft6.4 seconds
2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E480 hp634 lb-ft5.1 seconds
2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV200 hp266 lb-ftest. 7 seconds
2022 Kia Niro EV201 hp291 lb-ft6.2 seconds
2022 Hyundai Kona Electric201 hp290 lb-ft6.4 seconds
2022 Volkswagen ID.4295 hp339 lb-ft5.4 seconds
2022 Tesla Model Yest. 480 hp375 lb-ft3.6 seconds

Cost of ownership

Unfortunately, it’s impossible to estimate any long-term costs of ownership associated with a vehicle that hasn’t hit the market. If you’re concerned about costs like insurance, maintenance, or repairs it may be best to wait till the bZ4X has been on the market for a year or two. 
In the meantime, you can expect the following perks for affordability from the Toyota bZ4X—and any other electric vehicle for that matter:
  • Electric vehicles tend to cost less for fuel and maintenance than their combustion-engine counterparts.
  • Federal tax credits and other EV ownership incentives can offer at least $7500 in benefits for buying electric.
The starting costs of a 2023 bZ4X range from $43,215 to $49,995 depending on your trim and drivetrain preferences. It’s more affordable than the Tesla Model Y’s $62,990 starting price, but it’s not exactly a budget electric car. The comparable Kia Niro EV starts at $39,090 and the Hyundai Kona Electric at $35,245—and the bZ4X can’t compare to the Chevy Bolt’s $32,495 starting price or the Nissan Leaf's $28,425

How to decide if going electric is right for you

Buying an electric vehicle has plenty of benefits. The most obvious perhaps is the benefit for the planet, but the $7,500 in federal tax credits and the fun and innovative natures of these vehicles aren’t half-bad either! They run much more quietly than their combustion engine counterparts and if you’re lucky, you may never have to step foot in a creepy, dirty gas station ever again.
However, owning an electric vehicle is not without its risks and drawbacks. This new technology continues to garner higher-than-average upfront costs and there are a lot of logistics that can impact your daily convenience. Consider the following factors before deciding if an electric vehicle is the right move for you:
  • Access to charging station: While you can charge your EV at home, it could become incredibly inconvenient if you live in an area with low charging station accessibility—especially if you need a couple of extra miles.
  • Daily mileage needs: The limited driving ranges and charging needs of an EV can become a major hindrance if they don’t cover your daily miles with extra room to spare.
  • Long trips and traveling: You’ve done the math and your EV can cover your daily driving needs in a single charge, but how often do you go on trips longer than 200 miles? An EV may not be able to conveniently accommodate regular long-distance excursions. 
  • Personal charging station accessibility: Charging at home is easiest if you have a place to set up your charging station. You may run into some charging challenges if you don’t have a garage. 
If going fully electric isn’t feasible for you, you can still find a more eco-friendly ride from Toyota’s full line-up of hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and fuel cell alternatives—the Rav4 Hybrid, Prius Prime, and Mirai to name a few!

Toyota’s electric future

Toyota has already put considerable effort into developing its alternative energy choices with hybrid vehicles, but the introduction of the Beyond Zero line starts a new initiative to increase all-electric sales by 3.5 million units per year by 2030. Toyota’s plans to make this possible include 15 new electric models by 2025 and 15 more by 2030. 

Plan for the future with affordable car insurance

While you still have to wait a while longer to jump on the all-electric Toyota bandwagon, you can start taking advantage of electrifying insurance savings any time you want! From combustion engines to electric motors, Jerry can help you find the best car insurance for your unique vehicle at the best prices around.
Once you download the app and complete an easy 45-second sign-up, you’ll see how Jerry has taken a dreaded, boring task like comparison shopping and made it fast, efficient, and maybe even a little fun. Your electric car’s future is sure to look even brighter once you start browsing the competitive quotes sourced from Jerry’s network of 50+ top providers.
Wrap up your comparison shopping in under 5 minutes with help from Jerry’s insurance experts to cancel your old policy and secure your new one. You won’t just be saving time—the average Jerry user saves over $800 a year!
 
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