Toyota will add a small full-electric urban SUV with a highly efficient powertrain to its European lineup, according to CEO Akio Toyoda, one of the 30 new EVs the carmaker aims to add by 2030.
Toyota Europe stated the EV rollout would be “rapid,” although the company did not provide a launch date for the new vehicle.
“The tiny SUV is the next stage for us,” a spokeswoman said.
The “bZ Small Crossover,” as Toyota calls it, will be part of Toyota’s bZ range, which stands for “Beyond Zero,” and will follow the debut of the bZ4x midsize electric SUV next year.
In an online event held Tuesday morning, it was revealed in concept form alongside 11 other EV models as part of the automaker’s future EV model strategy.
Toyota expects annual global sales of full-electric vehicles to reach 3.5 million by 2030, according to Toyoda. Previously, the manufacturer relied on hybrid cars, particularly in Europe, to satisfy emissions goals.
Toyoda described the new car as “a small battery EV with a comfortable interior designed with Europe and Japan in mind,” and claimed it would have the highest efficiency in its class, at 125 watt hours per kilometre, or 12.5 kWh per 100 kilometres, without comparing it to other EVs currently on the market.
The CEO explained, “The more batteries you put to enhance cruising range, the bigger, heavier, and more expensive a vehicle becomes.” “Because this SUV is a little vehicle, there is one item about which we must be meticulous. And that is power efficency.
The Peugeot e-208 and Opel Mokka-e from Stellantis, the Hyundai Kona, and the MG ZS are the only small full-electric SUVs currently on the market from mainstream automakers. Renault is planned to debut a retro-inspired small SUV based on the 4L type from the 1960s.
The concept’s design is based on the recently released Aygo X minicar, which combines a hatchback body with the added height and aesthetic characteristics of an SUV.
Toyota is developing the E3 vehicle platform for Europe, which will support full-hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and full-electric powertrains, depending on market conditions and consumer preferences.
According to Toyota Motor Europe CEO Matt Harrison, the E3 platform would allow the carmaker to modify the powertrain mix of its key models based on consumer demand and charging infrastructure availability.
Toyota hasn’t said whether the tiny SUV would be based on this platform or the worldwide e-TNGA platform, which underlies the bZ4X and other electric vehicles, like the Lexus RZ.
The little electric SUV is likely to outsell the bZ4X in Europe, despite the fact that it is longer (4,690 mm) than the region’s best-selling small and compact SUVs.