According to recent rumors, Toyota has started collecting orders for its first electric car in China. Two further models are expected to hit the local market the following year. Toyota’s “bZ,” or “beyond zero,” portfolio of battery-electric vehicles includes the three vehicles. For the Japanese carmaker, which has been hesitant to invest in entirely electric cars, this signifies a big turnabout.
According to Toyota’s joint venture with Chinese state-owned carmaker FAW, the bZ3 electric vehicle, which was unveiled in October 2021, has already garnered 5,000 orders since going on sale on Sunday. Deliveries should start this year, according to a post on the official WeChat account. The BYD battery powers the bZ3 and can go more than 500 kilometers (310 miles) before needing to be recharged. The beginning price has been reduced from the previous starting price of 189,800 yuan, which was announced in December, to 169,800 yuan ($24,643).
For instance, Tesla’s Model 3 begins at 229,900 yuan in China, while BYD’s Han sedan starts at 209,800 yuan. The starting price of Toyota’s previously introduced electric bZ4x SUV is 199,800 Yuan, however the vehicle has not yet seen significant volume sales. According to the China Passenger Car Association, the Toyota Rav4 was the sixth-most popular SUV in China last year.
Toyota unveiled the “bZ Sport Crossover Concept” and the “bZ FlexSpace Concept” on Tuesday at the Shanghai car show. Both vehicles will debut in China the following year. Toyota, BYD, and Chinese state-owned FAW are all involved in the development of the bZ sports vehicle concept sedan. Foreign automakers have had to collaborate with local partners to manufacture cars in China until the end of 2021 after being prohibited from doing so for years.
Toyota and the government-owned GAC collaborated to create the bZ “FlexSpace” concept SUV. Toyota has said that its first facility outside of Japan devoted to hydrogen fuel systems would start production in Beijing early next year. Toyota is still working on developing hydrogen as a source of electricity.
In recent years, China’s sales of hybrid and battery-powered passenger cars have soared thanks to government initiatives to increase the use of new energy vehicles. According to figures from the China Passenger Car Association, that category of new energy vehicles made up approximately one-third of all new passenger cars sold in the nation in March.
According to the association’s statistics, Toyota sold more than 1.8 million wholesale cars in China via joint ventures with GAC and FAW last year, matching the sales of top-selling BYD and second-place FAW-Volkswagen.
Due to a strong government push for greener transportation, China has grown to be the world’s biggest market for electric cars at the same time as Toyota is entering that market. Toyota is using the chance to broaden its reach and establish a presence in China’s fast expanding electric vehicle industry since more and more automakers are vying for a piece of this lucrative market.