At the moment, the Toyota bZ3 is only intended for the Chinese market. But it could arrive in Europe in early 2024 to overshadow a certain Tesla Model 3.
Unlike the hybrid, Toyota isn’t really the most advanced manufacturer in terms of 100% electric models. Because ? Why the Japanese manufacturer has long preferred to develop hybrid engines, more legitimate in your eyes than electric. But changing legislation around the world has forced Toyota to change its tone.
Toyota today presents the second model in its electric family, the bZ3, a sedan that joins the bZ4X in the Japanese manufacturer’s electric range. We had already gotten some information about him from leaks from China. On the other hand, we wish you a better start than your counterpart.
One of the best Cx on the market
The Toyota bZ3 is the result of a collaboration between Chinese automaker BYD and FAW Toyota, a manufacturing and supervisory subsidiary of the joint venture between Toyota Motor Company and First Automobile Works. This 100% electric four-door sedan is currently only sold on the Chinese market, but an arrival in Europe cannot be ruled out in early 2024.
As you can see from the photos, the Toyota bZ3 is aesthetically pretty consensual. The engineers focused on the aerodynamic part, and we can say that the contract has been fulfilled since Toyota announces a CD of just 0.218, a better score than the Tesla Model 3 (0.23). The car measures 4.72 meters, 3 cm longer than a Model 3 and 6 cm shorter than a BMW i4.
Inside, the bZ3 ushers in what Toyota calls an infotainment layout.” Digital Island“. A large portrait-format infotainment screen dominates the center console and handles almost all of the car’s controls. In the available photos, Toyota does not appear to have renewed the Tesla-inspired steering wheel without the top (the yoke) as we saw in bZ4X.
An interesting autonomy
Toyota advertises a range of approx. 600km according to the approval cycle in force in China for light vehicles (CLTC). It is therefore necessary to have around 500 km on the European WLTP cycle. The battery, whose capacity is not specified by the manufacturer, is lithium-iron-phosphate and is supplied by BYD. Toyota advertises that this battery can retain up to 90% of its capacity after 10 years.
There is still very little information about this bZ3, mainly in relation to the powertrain, but according to information from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China recently released, there would be a motorization of 178 horsepower and another one from 238 horsepower. Top speed is limited to 160 km/h.
Toyota is working on a whole family of bZ models. According to the Japanese company’s strategy, at least six electric models will be developed around the e-TNGA platform. Toyota will also show a compact, a C-segment crossover, a midsize sedan, a minivan, a C-segment SUV and a large SUV.
Toyota finally believes in electric
With the announcement of this bZ3, Toyota seems to finally believe in the electric car. Indeed, as reported Reuters, the company is said to have carried out a complete restart of its electric car program. The goal: try to catch up with Tesla and other competitors. In detail, the Japanese company would have suspended some projects to drastically improve the current platform (e-TNGA). She could take the opportunity to create a new one, from scratch, that would see the light of day in five years at best.
The main problem with the current platform is its ability to be produced on the same assembly lines as thermal and hybrid vehicles. The consequence is very high production cost against the competition that created production lines dedicated to electric cars, with exclusive platforms.
In question, a poor estimate of sales volumes: Toyota planned to sell 3.5 million electric cars by 2023, or a third of its annual production. But in practice, demand for electric cars has increased so much that automakers plan to sell about 50% of electric cars a year by 2023.
So we hope that Toyota will formalize this new plan as soon as possible to stop touting the benefits of the hybrid over the electric car.
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