Toyota admits that it has been late to the EV party, however the Japanese automaker is planning to catch up fast by introducing up to 16 electric vehicles within the next few years, and up to 30 EVs by 2030 as revealed by company’s boss Akio Toyoda.
The bz4x SUV will be the first electric vehicle to go on sale, followed by the bZ SDN sedan that is expected to break covers in production form next month. Late last year, it was reported that Chinese automaker BYD will help Toyota build a cheap electric sedan, and according to leaked documents, the manufacturer’s name of upcoming Toyota bZ SDN sedan is shown as ‘BYD Auto Industry Co. Ltd.’ Bear in mind Toyota in 2019 announced that it will partner with BYD to develop all-electric cars in China.
Images of camouflaged test mules have already appeared on the internet giving us the hint of the car’s exterior design as well as the interior. Overall the bZ SDN sedan appears to remain true to the concept with sharp front end, the shape of the air intake in the lower part of the front bumper, the C-pillar kink, the fastback-style roofline and even the shape of the rear light cluster which can be seen through the camouflaging wrap.
Camouflaged test mule of Toyota bZ sedan in China
Inside, the minimalist dashboard design gets a large vertically oriented touchscreen which looks like a 15.0 inch unit or more & there is another 7.0 inch floating screen in front of driver which will act as a digital meter & info cluster. The central tunnel with rotary gear selector appears to be different than that of the bz4x EV. The picture also show us large windows, which should let plenty of light in. Plus, there is generous knee room for the rear seat passenger. A sunroof and what looks like rear AC vents can also be made out from the image.
In terms of dimensions, the BYD-built first Toyota electric sedan measures 4,725 mm long, 1,835 mm wide, and 1,475 mm tall with a wheelbase of 2,880 mm, making it slightly longer than the Tesla Model 3. The bZ sedan will also benefit from BYD’s Blade LFP battery technology. The blade battery, which is marketed as “ultra-safe,” is low-cost and is up to 10 cm thinner than conventional EV batteries, opening up more room in the interior. This will help make the Toyota electric sedan even roomier than the Corolla.
Technical details are yet to be officially released by Toyota however, a similar setup has been deployed with the BYD Han EV, granting it a claimed driving range of up to 605 km in a single charge, calculated on the NEDC test cycle. Toyota executives were already thoroughly impressed with BYD Han sedan when they test driven it a few years ago, so there is no surprise if the bZ sedan follows the technical footprints of BYD Han.
The new Toyota bZ electric sedan by BYD will break cover at the upcoming Beijing Auto Show scheduled to take place between 21st and 30th April 2022.
A computer animation professional with over 23 years of industry experience having served in leading organizations, TV channels & production facilities in Pakistan. An avid car enthusiast and petrolhead with an affection to deliver quality content to help shape opinions. Formerly written for PakWheels as well as major publications including Dawn. Founder of CarSpiritPK.com