Toyota to launch new EV sedan in China

Courtesy of Toyota Motors Corp.
Toyota Motor Corp.’s bZ3 model for the Chinese market

Toyota Motor Corp. has announced that it will launch its new electric vehicle, the bZ3, which will be jointly developed with Chinese EV giant BYD Co., in China, the world’s largest car market.

The bZ3 is the second in Toyota’s all-electric bZ series. The first sedan in the series, it can travel up to 600 kilometers on a single charge. FAW Toyota Motor Co., a joint venture between Toyota and a Chinese company, will be in charge of production and sales for the model, but prices and marketing timetables for the car have not yet determined.

BYD, founded in 1995, is a battery manufacturer with a rapidly growing EV business. In 2019, Toyota announced that it would develop EVs and automotive batteries jointly with BYD. The bZ3 uses a BYD battery.

In China, electric vehicles are rapidly being adopted. In addition to high-end EVs such as Tesla Inc. models, low-priced EVs in the range of ¥500,000 are also very popular.

In 2021, Toyota sold a record 1.94 million vehicles in China, mostly gasoline-powered and hybrid models. But its EV sales only totaled some 5,000 units.

Toyota said it will continue to launch bZ series models in China, apparently with the aim of catching up to Tesla and other EV makers.

In a worldwide launch earlier this year, Toyota released the bZ4X, a sport utility vehicle jointly developed with Subaru Corp., as the first model in the bZ series. Toyota aims to sell 3.5 million EVs per year globally by 2030.