Top-Selling Automaker in US Unveils New Electric Entry

The bZ4X small SUV is Toyota's first since 2014
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 12, 2022 2:05 PM CDT
Top-Selling Automaker in US Unveils New Electric Entry
This photo provided by Toyota shows the Toyota bZ4X SUV Battery-Electric Vehicle.   (Toyota via AP)

Toyota, the top-selling automaker in the US, is rolling out its first fully electric vehicle in eight years. The company on Tuesday unveiled the battery-powered bZ4X small SUV, which starts at $42,000 and can go up to 252 miles per charge. The bZ4X, which will be sold globally, adds to the 38 electric vehicle models now on sale in the US, with more than 120 expected by 2025, per the AP. While it doesn't have ground-breaking range or performance for an electric vehicle, the bZ4X is an important entry because it's from a trusted brand that will convince some buyers to make the switch from internal combustion engines, said Stephanie Brinley, principal analyst for S&P Global Mobility.

"You've got buyers who are interested in checking this out but may not be willing to try a new brand, or leave (Toyota) to go to Chevrolet or Ford," Brinley said. "As we transition to a market that is more dominated by electric vehicles, the answer is really convincing normally ICE (internal combustion engine) owners to try something new." The bZ4X looks similar to and is slightly longer, lower and wider than Toyota's RAV4, the top-selling vehicle in the US that isn't a pickup truck. It is Toyota's first EV since 2014, when it last sold an electric version of the RAV4.

Like most electric vehicles, it's fast when compared with internal combustion engine vehicles. The all-wheel-drive version can go from zero to 60 miles per hour in as little as 6.5 seconds, Toyota says. Sales will start in states that have zero-emissions vehicle requirements, then spread to the rest of the US, Toyota said. The bZ4X will be on display at the New York International Auto Show, where press days start this week. The show opens to the public from April 15-24.

(More Toyota stories.)

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