Date: September 25, 2023. — Toyota is ramping up its efforts to compete with Tesla and other electric vehicle makers by revealing a new compact SUV and tripling its production target for 2025. The Japanese automaker has been slow to enter the all-electric vehicle market. They plan to launch a new product called the bZ Compact SUV, which will be smaller and cheaper than its existing bZ4X crossover. Toyota also aims to increase its EV output to 600,000 units in 2025. This is up from its previous goal of 190,000 units in 2024.
Toyota released a new video on Twitter showcasing the new bZ Compact SUV. The video shows a glimpse of the rear design of the vehicle, which features a full-length LED light bar and a “BEV” badge. Expect the vehicle to feature a futuristic look with an aggressive wheel stance, short overhangs, and sweepback angles. The interior focuses on minimalism and connectivity with an “in-car agent” named “Yui,” which can connect passengers to the vehicle. Toyota has not revealed the powertrain details or the price of the bZ Compact SUV yet. However, it is likely to be lower than the bZ4X, which starts at $37,000 in the US.
The bZ Compact SUV is part of Toyota’s plan to launch 10 new EVs by 2026 under its Beyond Zero (bZ) brand. The company hopes to catch up with Tesla. Tesla sold 1.3 million EVs in 2022 and over 889,000 in the first half of 2023. Tesla’s Model Y SUV also became the world’s best-selling car in the first quarter of 2023, ahead of Toyota’s Corolla. Toyota sold only 24,000 EVs in 2022 and aims to sell 150,000 EVs in 2023.
Toyota has informed its major suppliers of a three-fold increase in EV production in 2025. This information comes from a report by Nikkei Asia. The company also revealed its next-generation EV demonstration line on Sept. 19, which showcases several innovations to improve efficiency and reduce costs. Moreover, the new production line uses giga casting, a three-part modular structure, and a solid-state battery development line. Toyota claims that its next-gen EVs will have a range of nearly 500 miles by 2026.
Toyota is also expanding its EV lineup to different segments and markets. The company plans to launch an electric version of its Hilux pickup truck in Thailand this year. They also plan to introduce new SUVs in the US and China next year. One of them is a three-row electric SUV that will be assembled in the US at the company’s Georgetown, Kentucky plant.
Toyota is betting big on its bZ brand to compete with Tesla and other EV makers in the global market. The company hopes that its new compact SUV will help it gain more customers and market share in the fast-growing EV industry. Additionally, the increased production capacity is expected to contribute to this goal.