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Electric car Toyota bZ4X: Conservative on par with the competition

Toyota has released technical details on the battery-electric bZ4X. The SUV is to be offered on all relevant world markets from mid-2022. The bZ4X is the electric equivalent of the RAV4, one of the best-selling cars ever. In Germany it competes with the VW ID.4 and its derivatives at Audi and Skoda, with the Tesla Model Y and the Hyundai Ioniq 5.

The bZ4X is to be followed by six more battery-electric cars by 2025. The giant has awakened. As always with Toyota, reliability, safety and durability are more in the foreground than maximum performance: Peace of mind, the customer’s peace of mind, has traditionally been an elementary goal of the Japanese brand.

Toyota guarantees the battery 90 percent of the output capacity over ten years or 240,000 kilometers. For comparison: For most of the competitors, it is 70 percent over eight years and 160,000 km. This is a major difference for buyers planning a holding period beyond the usual lease period. The loss in value could also be less. Toyota has decades of experience in battery management in its joint venture with Panasonic. It can therefore be assumed that the operating strategy is cautious in order to protect the NCM cells. The agreed cooperation with BYD, in turn, indicates that future bZ models will be equipped with inexpensive LFP cells.

Toyota mentions an energy content of 71.4 kWh for the bZ4X (Hyundai Ioniq 5: 72.6 kWh, VW ID.4: 77 kWh). The voltage of the battery system is comparatively low at 355 volts. The charging power with direct current is up to 150 kW. With alternating current it is only 6.6 kW. It is unclear whether Toyota will offer a three-phase AC charger as an option for the European market. The charging standard is also not specifically mentioned; It can be assumed, however, that the group deviates from the Japanese chademo despite all state reasons and uses the CCS that is common here: The press photos show a CCS socket. If that were not the case, one would have to speak of a defense offer, as with the Lexus UX300e. With Chademo, the bZ4X would be practically unsalable.

The bZ4X is just the beginning: six more battery-electric cars will be introduced by 2025. Toyota benefits from millions of years of experience with hybrid cars and the grown joint venture with Panasonic. A cooperation with BYD from China has also been agreed.

Toyota claims a practical range even in winter, to which, among other things, a standard heat pump should contribute. In summer, an optional solar roof can produce electricity for “up to 1800 km a year” (Hyundai for the Ioniq 5: “2000 km”).

There are two types of drive: one with front-wheel drive and a 150 kW synchronous electric motor and one with all-wheel drive from its partner Subaru, where the bZ4X is sold identically as the Solterra. With the AWD, the two electric motors on the front and rear axles each have an output of 80 kW, which results in a total of 160 kW. Acceleration to 100 km / h is 8.4 seconds for the front-wheel drive and 7.7 seconds for the AWD. With these values, the Toyota should place itself at the bottom of the drag strip – peace of mind is more important than performance, see above.

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