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Car manufacturers are now constantly releasing new electric vehicles (EVs) to add to their lineups as battery-powered EVs (BEVs) are on the rise. Toyota, though a bit late to the party, unveiled a new BEV concept at the Shanghai Motor Show, but was reluctant to divulge any specs until now.
According to Electrek, Toyota has finally released specs for its first globally available BEV, the bZ4X. This is exciting news, considering Toyota’s past resistance to battery-powered vehicles.
Motivation behind the Toyota bZ4X
The bZ4X represents the culmination of much debate surrounding Toyota’s future with EVs. Toyota was seen as a pioneer of the hybrid with its Prius. However, they’ve been slow to move to BEVs. Instead, they focused on hydrogen fuel cell power with new models like the Mirai and let battery power take a backseat—until now.
In the last few years, Toyota has struggled to remain relevant while pursuing fuel cell power. As Toyota fell behind on battery-powered EVs, they began actively resisting their development.
Their lobbying was unsuccessful, though, and even made them a few enemies. Some deemed their campaigns detrimental to climate change efforts since their actions would hinder the development of BEVs.
With that in mind, the bZ4X is a big step for Toyota. Even the car’s name is meant to represent Toyota’s commitment to EV development, as the “bZ” stands for “beyond zero,” the brand’s new motto of sorts.
What are the specs on the bZ4X?
Though Toyota has indeed released specs on their new EV, they’re for the Japanese version of the car, so this is only a rough idea of what the U.S. will be getting. Specs on the U.S. version will hopefully be available in the next month.
The bZ4X will be equipped with a 71.4 kWh battery pack. The motor powering it will either be an individual 150 kW motor for the front-wheel-drive model or a system of two 80 kW motors, one over each axle, for the all-wheel-drive model.
Toyota has not announced an official range for the bZ4X, but they have released a “cruising range per charge” of 310 miles (front-wheel drive) or 286 miles (all-wheel drive).
There are some intriguing special features in the bZ4X as well. The car will have bidirectional charging, meaning it could power your home and vice versa. Another fun power feature is its solar-powered roof option, which is theoretically able to provide around 1,100 miles of power over one year of driving.
The steering wheel will have an innovative “wing-shaped” option available. Toyota claims the technology within the wheel will give it a “one motion grip.” This means, lock-to-lock, the wheel will only rotate 150 degrees, reducing the need to shift steering grips due to shorter turning motions.
When will the bZ4X hit the streets?
The Japanese bZ4X won’t be out until mid-2022 or later, and there’s no word yet on when the U.S. will receive their lot, though American sales will start next year. No pricing details have been released either, so keep your eyes peeled.
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