Toyota enters the EV huddle with Beyond Zero

Published on 13 October, 2021

Toyota will make its EV debut via the bZ4X, an electric crossover based on the RAV-4, and is soon to be followed by a wide lineup of electric vehicles. Toyota says that there will be 15 new Toyota EVs by 2025 with 7 to be sold under the bZ namesake. According to Simon Humphries,Head of Toyota and Lexus Global Design, “The bZ4X concept will offer an EV experience without compromise, an experience which looks forward to an era where sensors are more important that the traditional radiator grille. The cockpit provides a new driver interface with adaptive steer-by-wire grip while a new level of connectivity makes the driver feel equally connected to both car, road and information.” The bZ4X is based on a new joint Toyota-Subaru platform utilising Toyota’s expertise of technology and electrification, and Subaru’s expertise of the AWD platform, employing a dual-motor, all-wheel-drive powertrain. The automakers aim to strike a balance between comfortable and enjoyable performance with the new platform.Although based on the RAV4, the EV has a lower, wider stance, and more futuristic styling cues owing to the entire EV fad.Albeit, the interior is more inclined towards the contemporary Toyota style that you’ll see on other cars from the automaker.

Despite having joined the EV race now, Toyota had long since announced its intention to transform from an automotive company into a mobility company way back in 2018. According to the Global Toyota website, “Under the common understanding that everyone lives on the same planet, Toyota takes action from the perspective of "home planet," above and beyond the concepts of "hometown" and "home country" that the automotive industry has long continued its business in. The current working generation is responsible for bequeathing this beautiful home to the next generation, as a place where people can live with peace of mind. Under this perspective, Toyota has the "human-centered" philosophy that technology should contribute to people's happiness and health.

By utilizing the strength it has cultivated through "monozukuri (manufacturing)", and by incorporating further technological innovations that expand the possibilities of mobility as it responds to CASE, Toyota seeks to provide services that make freedom of mobility available to all people. The company also aims through its businesses to contribute to the realization of SDGs; among the 17 SDGs, reducing CO2 emissions is a global issue and, in order to achieve this, it is vital that electrification―the "E" of "CASE"―is implemented on a global scale.”

Toyota is thinking big picture, and it seems the bZ4X is only a stepping stone. Having already set foot deep into electrification with state-of-the-art battery technology and already developing hydrogen battery cells, the Japanese automakers may just be in line to compete with the big guns of the electric vehicle market with their lineup.

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