Toyota’s first electric vehicle (EV) will be coming in the immediate future, and it actually looks pretty good.

toyota bZ4X
Credit: Toyota

The automobile giant unveiled the concept design of the Toyota bZ4X SUV, the company’s first EV, in China’s Auto Shanghai event. The bZ4X is the first of seven models in the bZ series of Toyota EVs, which the company plans to introduce by 2025.

Toyota jointly developed the bZ4X with its partner, Subaru, to capitalise on Toyota’s expertise in vehicle electrification and Subaru’s AWD technologies. As such, driving the car should feel both comfortable and enjoyable.

According to Toyota’s list of characteristics for the bZ4X, the car features a solar recharging system that charges the car’s battery while it is stationary and a new AWD system jointly developed by Toyota and Subaru. This AWD system is said to combine a “safe and pleasing driving performance… with an impressive off-road performance.”

Toyota hopes to begin worldwide sales of the bZ4X by mid-2022.

The bZ series cars aren’t the only EVs Toyota plans to manufacture. The company plans to unveil 15 other EVs by 2025. This is part of their effort to transform the automotive company into a mobility company and contribute to the realisation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) which includes reducing carbon dioxide emissions. To achieve the goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, the company mentioned that implementing electrification on a global scale is a vital step.

The automobile company plans to expand its line-up of EVs to cater to the needs of its customers as well as expand the total number of “electrified models” to around 70 by 2025.

Toyota mentioned that it is taking two distinct approaches to develop and manufacture EVs: the first focuses on small-capacity short-distance, ultra-compact EVs like the Toyota C+pod and establishing new business models such as commercialisation of battery reuse and recycling. The other approach, which covers the bZ EV series, focuses on a “human-centred approach” aimed at widespread use in regions where there is a high demand for EVs like China, the US and Europe.

Although there is no word from Toyota that any of their EVs are being outfitted with automated driving, we’re definitely looking forward to seeing the first of Toyota’s electric vehicles on the road!

Written by John Paul Joaquin