A solar roof on the Toyota bZ4X makes it the company’s first electric vehicle.
This comes as something of a surprise coming from Toyota, the company that helped popularise the hybrid vehicle in the first place. Instead, the company decided to put all of its bets on hydrogen, which hasn’t been particularly successful.
Toyota, on the other hand, has finally unveiled its first production-level electric vehicle. A 252-mile range, solar panels, water cooling, and more are all part of the bZ4X’s enviable feature set.
Pricing and availability of Toyota bZ4X
A front-wheel-drive “XLE” version of the bZ4X is expected to cost $42,000 when it goes on sale in Spring 2022, according to Toyota.
FWD’s “Limited” model will cost $46,700, which includes larger wheels and a distinct design. For an AWD model, you’ll have to pay $44,080, while a Limited model costs $48,780.
There are a few key differences between the base model and the Limited models, including larger wheels, unique colour schemes, and a number of unique design features like multi-LED headlights, chrome accents, and a lower grille.
Supply chain issues are affecting new car production, which has led to “extremely limited” stock (emphasis Toyota’s).
Battery cooling in Toyota’s bZ4X technology
The 71.4 kWh battery in the bZ4X is designed to last as long as possible thanks to the water cooling system. Degradation and capacity loss occur over time when batteries are exposed to high temperatures for extended periods.
Faster charging, which is essential if you intend to drive beyond the typical range of your vehicle, has the unfortunate side effect of producing heat.
Other manufacturers have devised strategies for maintaining a cool battery while charging. A unique coolant is used by Tesla, whereas Renault employs a cooling system that blows cold air over the battery.
Toyota has chosen for the traditional water cooling system, claiming that after ten years (or 150,000 miles) of driving, deterioration will be as low as 10%.
Range and solar roof of the Toyota bZ4X
At a Level 2 AC charger, each of the four vehicles has a standard CCS charging plug, which can provide 6.6 kW of charging power. Toyota estimates that it will take nine hours to fully recharge the vehicle from “low to full.”
With a 150kW DC quick charge, Toyota says the FWD versions can recover 80 percent of their power in 30 minutes. The AWD variants can only reach speeds of 100 kilowatts.
Solar panels may also be installed on the top of the vehicle, which can provide extra power to the battery. If prior solar-powered automobiles are any indication, you should expect a top speed of little more than a few miles per hour.
Although Toyota hasn’t released pricing information for the panels, they haven’t provided any other specifics.
According to the EPA, Toyota has verified that the front-wheel-drive model’s range will be 252 miles. Due to its wider 20-inch wheels, the Limited variant has a somewhat lower 242 miles.
The AWD variant, on the other hand, will only bring you up to 228 miles on a single tank of gas since it has a second motor that requires electricity. The bigger wheels on the Limited AWD help it achieve a 222-mile range on a single charge.
Toyota plans to offer the vehicle in both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations. A 150kW motor provides 201 horsepower, a peak speed of 100 mph, and a 0-60 time of 8.4 seconds in front-wheel-drive variants. This output is increased to 214.5bhp and a 0-60 speed of 7.7 seconds for all-wheel drive vehicles with twin 80kW motors.
BZ4X interior and the yoke steering wheel are now available on the market
With a 7-inch gauge cluster and a bigger display in the centre of the dashboard, the automobile is equipped with a lot of information. There are physical buttons on the dash for important functions like temperature control, thanks to Toyota’s avoidance of the touchscreen trap. As a result, we expect that Android Auto will also be supported.
A Tesla-style yoke steering wheel was planned to be an option for the automobile, along with a standard spherical wheel. The Toyota website, on the other hand, does not contain any photographs of a spherical steering wheel, which we find to be a good thing.
forecast for Toyota’s bZ4X
It’s not quite apparent what Toyota has in store for the vehicle, but this gives a good indication. Honestly? Fortunately, things aren’t too awful here. It’s surprising that Toyota has an EV at all, much alone one this outstanding, considering that different Toyota officials have slammed EVs.
Toyota has kept the bX4X reasonably priced, with all of the base models priced around $50,000. Toyota’s ability to compete with long-established manufacturers will depend on its ability to keep costs low in the face of rising competition.
However, supply chain concerns have already impacted the car’s availability before to its release. Toyota will have to work on this in the future if it doesn’t want customers to switch other manufacturers who can fulfil orders much quicker.