Electric vehiclesEnergy

An electric SUV, the bZ4X, with exciting features, is Toyota’s first all-electric vehicle

Toyota has released the bZ4X, which is an electric SUV with a variety of intriguing features that might be the firm’s first all-electric car. We first saw the car at the Shanghai Motor Show, when Toyota revealed it as a prototype, however, Toyota has yet to publish any specifications or details regarding its features. The bZ4X was unveiled today at an occasion in Japan, with deliveries set to begin next year.

While Toyota has earlier released all-electric automobiles in China, the bZ4X is the firm’s first battery-electric car since it is the first to use a BEV-specific chassis as well to be available globally. “bZ” symbolizes for “beyond zero,” Toyota’s latest electrification strategy, as well as a form of sub-brand for the firm’s forthcoming electric vehicles, which start with the bZ4X. Since it was first unveiled in concept form, the electric SUV hasn’t evolved much. It still features a bold design and angular lines:

Now there is more information in terms of specifications. According to Toyota, every detail provided is for Japanese model of the vehicle. The US version is set to premiere next month, however it should offer us a good indication of what to expect. The automobile has a 71.4 kWh battery pack. Toyota is only disclosing the “cruising range per charge (WLTC),” that it claims is 500 km (310 miles) for the front-wheel-drive model and 460 km (286 miles) for the all-wheel-drive model.

The front-wheel-drive model is powered by a 150 kW motor, while all-wheel-drive model is propelled by an 80-kW motor for each axle. The DC fast-charging capability looks to be fixed at 150 kW. Toyota states that it can be able to charge to 80 percent state-of-charge in roughly 30 minutes with this capacity.

It’s a solid entry-level to the mid-level electric SUV in terms of specs. Aside from the motor, Toyota has paid particular attention to the features those other automakers are including on their electric vehicles, and the bZ4X does have a number of them. It provides bidirectional charging features for vehicle-to-home capacity, for starters. It also features a solar roof, which Toyota claims can “generate electricity equivalent to 1,800 kilometers of driving mileage per year”:

The bZ4X also comes with a “wing-shaped” steering wheel, which Toyota claims improve visibility. This is reminiscent of Tesla’s “Yoke” steering wheel, which debuted recently in Model S Plaid.

Toyota, on the other hand, solved Tesla’s core issue by creating a “wing-shaped” steering wheel with the steer-by-wire program that enables for a “one motion grasp,” as Toyota describes it:

  • The lock-to-lock angle is set at around 150 degrees, eliminating the need to switch grips while driving and reducing the driver’s workload for the U-turns, garage parking, and curved highways.
  • The steering feel is improved by independently regulating the driver’s steering torque and the steering tilt of the tires. The steering qualities can be changed by changing the drive mode.
  • Blocks unnecessary tire vibrations and only transmits necessary vibrations, such as road data. The system modulates tire movement to ensure vehicle stability when driving on uneven terrain or with Lane Tracing Assist active.
  • The one-motion grip provides more legroom in the driving posture and makes entry and departure easier.

More details about the Toyota bZ4X’s price and availability will be released in the coming months. The electric SUV is expected to launch in Japan in mid-2022.

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