Toyota launches its first electric car
Electric vehicle manufacturers could see a new competitor in their rear-view mirrors.
With the all-electric BZ4X, Toyota is finally getting into the EV race as the Japanese automaker looks to compete with Tesla (TSLA) – Get the Tesla Inc reportford (f) – Get the Ford Motor Company ReportGeneral Motors (GM) – Get the General Motors company reportVW (VWAGY) – Get the Volkswagen AG report and electric truck start-up Rivian (RIVN) – Obtain the Rivian Automotive, Inc. Class A report.
Most of Toyota’s current EV sales are hybrids, powered by a combination of battery-powered motors and internal combustion engines.
These include the Prius, a hybrid that went on sale in Japan in 1997.
Toyota plans to expand to around 70 electrified models worldwide by 2025, with a view to becoming carbon neutral by 2050.
The company said it has put more than 20 million electrified models on the road and will spend over $70 billion on electric vehicles, with a goal of having 3.5 million battery electric vehicles on the market worldwide by 2030.
The BZ4X “not only strives to advance Toyota’s commitment to a carbon-neutral future, it does so in style,” Toyota said.
“This is a lackluster EV. They could have done so much better,” one person tweeted.
“Very nice good job,” another Sent.
Crowded participant field
Style may come in handy as the company seeks to differentiate itself in the growing field of electric vehicle manufacturers.
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Tesla continues to be the leading electric vehicle maker, and last week CEO Elon Musk inaugurated the company’s Gigafactory in Austin, Texas with its much-hyped Cyber Rodeo.
Musk said the long-delayed Cybertruck will begin production next year at the Texas factory.
General Motors aims to electrify its fleet with President Joe Biden, who paid tribute to GM and Ford in his last month Address of the State of the Union.
Ford is developing electric versions of its legendary models as well as electric versions of its best-sellers.
Last month, Volkswagen announced that it will invest $7.1 billion in North America over the next five years to advance its electric and digital transformation.
Volkswagen wants 55% of US sales to be fully electric by 2030.
However, the German automaker has warned that demand for chips in cars remains high as supply chain constraints remain in place and will not improve until 2024.
The BZ4X, with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $42,000, will be available “this spring,” according to Toyota’s announcement, but a notice on the company’s website states that the 2023 bZ4X is “currently only available in select states and in extremely limited quantities is .”
And speaking of limited volumes, Toyota recently informed suppliers that it plans to cut global production to around 700,000 in May, down 10% from its previous plan Nike Asiaas the supply chain continues to be affected by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and a resurgence of Covid-19 cases.
The announcement comes after the automaker decided to cut global production by 17% in April.
Enthusiasm for electric vehicles has increased as gasoline prices have skyrocketed. Web search interest in electric vehicles hit a record high in March in the US, according to Google Trends.