You may have heard of Toyota’s bZ4X, the brand’s first mass-produced pure electric vehicle, but what about the bZ3? The bZ3 is Toyota’s first electric sedan and is intended solely for the Chinese market. It’s made by the FAW-Toyota joint venture and will go on sale in China later this calendar year to take on a variety of rivals.
The Toyota bZ3 is nothing but the production version of the bZ SDN concept presented last year. The Japanese car major has long been mobilizing for hybrid technologies for which it has developed a niche, but it has started to embrace the BEV race in international markets, mainly in China, the world’s largest market for electric vehicles.
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In China, it faces a different problem as most of its vehicles are hybrid electric vehicles rather than pure electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids and fuel cell electric vehicles which will be rated as new energy vehicles (NEVs) and will benefit from subsidies. Thus, to catch up with its competitors, Toyota is partnering with existing electric vehicle manufacturers or buying large shares from startups.
Toyota introduced the bZ4X earlier this year with an electric motor supplied by GAC and is produced under the Toyota-GAC joint venture. In the bZ3 electric sedan, Toyota has partnered with BYD. It has used the expertise of Fudi Industrial, a subsidiary of BYD, and provides EV-based technologies to other automakers. The bZ3 is based on Toyota’s same e-TNGA modular platform.
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The five-seater is equipped with BYD’s famous Blade LFP battery, but the battery size has not yet been disclosed. The rear-drive sedan uses a TZ200-XS002 electric motor which will be available in two different configurations: one producing 183 hp in the base version and the other producing 244 hp in the top-of-the-line version.
The claimed top speed of the Toyota bZ3 is 160km/h and it measures 4725mm long, 1835mm wide and 1475mm high with a wheelbase length of 2880mm and curb weight of 1,835 kg. Although it draws design inspiration from the bZ4X, the bZ3 pales in comparison to the current crop of electric sedans in China. It will debut at the 2022 Guangzhou Auto Show in November.