Toyota Australia plans three electric vehicles by 2026

The Toyota bZ4x is scheduled for launch in Australia in the fourth quarter of this year and will be the first of at least three initial EV launches.

“Starting with the bZ4x, we will launch at least three electric vehicles within three years, with more on the way,” said Sean Hanley, Toyota Australia’s vice president of sales, marketing and franchise operations.

“Toyota aims to bring thousands of electric vehicles to Australia within a few years, and eventually tens of thousands.”

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bZ Compact SUV concept Credit: car expert

In addition to those three, Mr Hanley says the company is “closely examining” a production version of last year’s bZ compact SUV concept.

Toyota has only revealed one other production bZ EV so far, the bZ3 sedan, but this is said to be for the Chinese market only.

While Toyota has yet to release local pricing and specs, Toyota has warned that the bZ4x won’t be cheap, citing lithium prices eight times higher than they were two years ago.

Toyota bZ4x Credit: car expert

“Battery electric cars are expensive. don’t kid yourself It’s expensive to build,” Mr Hanley said.

“That’s why I’ve always said that this car will not be a cheap car. But as we move forward, electric vehicles will come down in price like hybrid has done over 22 years of scale-up.

“But first of all, and that’s exactly why I use the quote, hybrid doesn’t suit a few.”

Toyota’s European offices have confirmed the launch of six bZ-branded vehicles by 2026, and in late 2021 Toyota unveiled a variety of concepts ranging from city cars to a large SUV and a Ute. The company plans to have 30 electric vehicles on the market by 2030 and until then to sell at least 3.5 million electric vehicles worldwide each year.

Originally slated for late 2022, Toyota says it has postponed its first volume EV, the bZ4x, to ensure adequate supply.

“The reason we have actually delayed, despite some popular opinion and comments, is because we want to be able to ensure supply and the latest specifications,” Mr Hanley said.

“So they are the two main reasons for the delay. I don’t have exact figures. It’s a bit early, but we expect to have reasonable launch volume for this data based on our market size.”

delivered Credit: car expert

Toyota says there are still many barriers to EV adoption in Australia, even as the company expects the EV market growth to accelerate over the next seven years.

Mr Hanley pointed to Australia’s limited infrastructure, particularly citing reports about the holiday season late last year about queues at charging stations.

He also pointed out that many buyers are not served by EVs, especially those in regional areas that tow heavy loads.

“It was a powerful reminder to me of what serviceable cars and vehicles really mean to the people who live in regional Australia. And it reminded me that on this journey to carbon neutrality, we cannot leave them behind,” said Mr. Hanley.

delivered Credit: car expert

He expects both local charging infrastructure and battery technology to improve, but said it’s “too early and too risky to put all your eggs in the EV basket”.

“The most responsible thing you can do now is to help our customers reduce their carbon emissions as much as possible and as quickly as possible,” he added.

“That means offering low-emission solutions that meet the different needs and circumstances of all our customers.” Toyota Australia plans three electric vehicles by 2026

James Brien

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