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Toyota BZ4X 2022: May release date in Japan for Toyota’s first EV, expected in Australia by end of year

John Law

Toyota’s first dedicated electric vehicle will go on sale in Japan next month with a 500km-plus range and starting price around $70K

The 2022 Toyota BZ4X electric midsize SUV will go on sale in Japan on 12 May with a claimed WLTP range of up to 510km in front-wheel drive guise.

In Japan the BZ4X will initially be available in one trim level (called ‘Z grade’ in Japan) with the option of front- or all-wheel drive with a starting price of 6,000,000 Japanese yen – equivalent to AU$64,400 at the time of writing in April 2022.

When the BZ4X comes to Australia it will likely start from around that same price. Expect the BZ4X’s final list price to be between $65-70,000 for a FWD model, and upwards of $70,000 for an AWD example.

A precise Australian release date is yet to be confirmed for Toyota’s first mass-production electric vehicle, though dealers are taking pre orders now for those who want to jump in the queue.

The BZ4X is closely related to the forthcoming Subaru Solterra and Lexus RZ, riding on the same e-TNGA platform

The BZ4X is about the same size as the RAV4

In exterior dimensions the five-seat, 4.69m-long BZ4X slots roughly between the 4.6m RAV4 midsize SUV and 4.96m Kluger large SUV. The BZ4X is 1860mm wide, 1650mm tall, and sits on a 2850mm wheelbase. 

When it arrives in Australia the BZ4X will compete directly with EVs such as the Kia EV6, Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Tesla Model Y

Toyota BZ4X power, range and battery size

The Toyota BZ4X launches with one lithium-ion battery providing 71.4kWh of usable size, with no current provisions for a larger or smaller battery available. 

In conjunction with a 150kW/266Nm front mounted electric motor the front-drive BZ4X achieved an impressive range claim of 510km (WLTP) with an energy consumption rating of 14.3kWh/100km.

It remains to be seen if Toyota’s EV will be as efficient in real world testing, but even the 160kW/337Nm AWD BZ4X is rated at 15.8kWh/100km for a 459km WLTP range.

The BZ4X isn’t a performance EV with the AWD variant recording a 0-100km/h sprint of 6.9 seconds. It’s possible Toyota will introduce a more athletic tune in future – and the related Lexus RZ450e is expected to produce about 300kW of power. 

Fast-charging can be done at a peak of 150kW

With its 400-volt electrical system the BZ4X is able to DC fast-charge at a peak rate of 150kW, with a charge from 0-80 percent (or 0-450km of range) in 40 minutes.

The BZ4X can AC charge at 6.6kW and will take 12 hours to charge using a single-phase wallbox installed at your home or office – while a full charge from a standard household power point would take about 35 hours.

A new interior direction for Toyota

While initial concepts of the BZ4X depicted a controversial Tesla-style ‘yoke’ steering wheel, for the production model Toyota has softened its stance with a traditional round, three-spoke item though it debuts a ‘steer-by-wire’ system for the brand with no physical connection to the front wheels.

In the centre is a large 12.3-inch touchscreen that looks to be running the same new software found in the Lexus NX premium midsize SUV. 

Toyota has also equipped the BZ4X with over-the-air software update functionality, live traffic updates and a digital key with a smartphone app to control various functions such as preconditioning the battery or adjust the HVAC before jumping in remotely.

There also looks to be new textile padding on the dashboard and the BZ4X’s cabin design with its raised digital instrument binnacle shows off an exciting new direction for Toyota interior design.