- The Toyota bZ3 has been revealed, slated to be produced by Toyota-FAW and BYD in China, featuring BYD's lithium-ion LFP battery that uses lithium iron phosphate.
- The battery of the e-TNGA platform-based bZ3 has been engineered with the goal of retaining a 90% capacity after 10 years of charge and discharge cycles.
- The electric sedan, which is close in length to the Corolla, targets a range of 600 kilometers in the CLTC cycle, or 372 miles, and is expected to start just over $25,000 in China.
Toyota took the wraps off the bZ3 this week, revealing a roughly Corolla-sized electric sedan targeting a very ambitious range on a full charge, and featuring a battery type that might not be familiar to EV owners in the US.
The bZ3 had been previewed by the bZ SDN Concept almost a year ago along with a large group of other planned EVs, before being revealed almost in full thanks to government filings earlier this summer.
Any chance Toyota will bring the bZ3 stateside?
The new sedan, which features rhomboid shapes we've seen on the exterior of the bZ4X crossover, is a collaboration between the Japanese automaker, China's BYD, and the Toyota FAW joint venture. Toyota likens this distinctive new look to the hammerhead shark, but despite a plethora of sharp creases, the sedan achieves an aerodynamic coefficient of 0.218—quite slippery for something with such a blunt nose.
The bZ3 gets BYD's "Blade" lithium-ion LFP battery which uses lithium iron phosphate, promising a CLTC range of 600 kilometers, or 372 miles on a full charge. Moreover, Toyota points out that it has worked to reduce battery degradation, the bZ3 engineered with the goal of retaining a 90% capacity after 10 years of charge/discharge cycles.
Just like the bZ4X, the sedan is based on Toyota's e-TNGA platform, promising a longer wheelbase that buys interior occupants more room, along with a lower center of gravity.
"With a people-centered focus, Toyota emphasizes a coherent and comfortable interior space with enhanced digital features perfectly integrated inside the cabin to suit customer preferences," the automaker notes.
The interior, meanwhile, features a Digital Island system, as the automaker calls it, pairing a tray-type console with a large vertical center display that has replaced buttons and dials, including those for the air conditioning and the stereo, following some industry trends.
Another popular EV industry trend immediately noticeable are the flush-fitting door handles and an instrument cluster that sits quite far back on the dash, along with a rotary dial for drive function selection.
You may have also noted that the steering wheel is not quite round, but rather halfway on its way to being hexagonal, with flat top and bottom sections. Still, it's not quite the yoke that Toyota offers in another model.
The bZ3 is not headed stateside at the moment, however, as it is planned to be produced and sold in China. The automaker's joint venture with First Automotive Works (FAW) will be responsible for building the sedan.
That's a shame, because the bZ3 is expected to start just over the $25,000 mark in China.
We still expect Toyota to field an electric sedan of this size stateside at some point, so we wouldn't count the bZ3 out just yet, as this is a crucial segment Toyota has occupied (in non-electric form) for decades.
Whether that model will be called the bZ3 and feature the same hammerhead shark styling and surprisingly generous price tag remains to be seen.
Should Toyota offer the bZ3 here, or does the US market need something different? Let us know in the comments below.