Toyota will be launching its first ever mass-market electric vehicle, the bZ4X, in Japan on May 12. As previously reported, customers won’t be able to purchase it outright, because the crossover will only be available through its Kinto car subscription service.
According to the automaker, the move is to eliminate customer concerns regarding battery-electric vehicle (BEV) ownership, and at the same time promote the 3Rs (Rebuild, Reuse, Recycle) of batteries.
The first phase of the launch will see Toyota accept lease applications for 3,000 units of the bZ4X, with the second phase planned closer towards Q4 2022. Approximately 5,000 units of the electric crossover have been earmarked for production and sales in Japan in the first year.
For corporate customers, the vehicles will be leased from Toyota Rent-a-Lease Dealers nationwide and the Toyota Mobility Services Corporation (Tokyo region). Pricing for the bZ4X starts from 6 million yen (RM202k) to 6.5 million yen (RM219k).
As for charging infrastructure, Toyota plans to install rapid DC chargers at all of its Japanese dealerships by 2025, with initial plans to install them in urban areas where BEV demand is higher.
To quickly recap, the five-seater SUV (based on a dedicated EV platform that’s jointly developed with Subaru) is available in either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive configurations. The former uses a single electric motor generating 150 kW (204 PS), while the AWD features two 80 kW motors (109 PS) for a combined output of 160 kW (218 PS).
Both versions share the same 71.4 kWh battery, which supports a maximum of 6.6 kW AC charging or 150 kW DC fast-charging. Performance figures include a 0-100 km/h sprint time of 8.4 seconds for the FWD, and 7.7 seconds for the AWD. The bZ4X is also slated for a Malaysian launch, but will only arrive in 2023.
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