A couple of years after Toyota said they want to be carbon neutral by 2050, but that’s the long term goal. Right now, they’re focused on reducing carbon emissions with their vehicles and they’re doing that by expanding their portfolio of electrified vehicles to 70 models by 2025.
From these 70 models, 15 would be all-electric and seven of them would be under the bZ lineup. The name stands for “beyond Zero” or cars that have more value aside from not having emissions. All cars under the bZ name would be made in collaboration with other brands namely BYD, Daihatsu, Subaru, and Suzuki. They will have an “open and freestyle interior and uniquely designed exterior.”
The bZ4X SUV concept is our first taste of this new direction from Toyota. It’s made in collaboration with Subaru and features a new platform made by the two companies. It flaunts the expertise of Toyota’s electrification and Subaru’s experience with AWD technologies, aimed for a comfortable driving experience with impressive off-roading capability.
Exterior styling is pretty much in line with current electric cars launched – bold and sleek. What makes the bZ4X different is its interior which gives all passengers a great sense of space. The distinct steering wheel and instrument panel are placed lower on the dash, giving off great visibility for the front occupants. Drive-by-wire was also incorporated on the steering wheel which Toyota says eliminated the need for changing grip when turning, hence they were able to use a different shape for it.
The bZ4X also makes use of solar charging that allows the batteries to be charged when the car is stationary. It’s a clever trick to prolong the range of the car but there’s no note yet on the specifics on how it will work.
It might be a concept now, but the bZ4X’s official production is near. It will be made in Japan and China, with worldwide sales estimated to start by the middle of 2022.
Vincent Villa | via Albert Rovic Tan