Toyota Motor Corp plans to begin the manufacture and sales of a small electric sedan powered by BYD Co Ltd., batteries by the end of 2022 as part of an ongoing collaboration with the Chinese firm, sources said.
The China-exclusive bZ3 sedan co-developed with BYD will be the second model in the new “Beyond Zero” (bZ) series of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) from Toyota, which has been criticized by green investors and activists for not embracing BEVs quickly enough.
The first bZ car—the bZ4X sport-utility vehicle—was to hit the market in China earlier in 2022, but a global recall of the car forced the Japanese auto giant to halt production of the model globally.
Toyota had planned to unveil the bZ3, which utilizes BYD’s less bulky Blade batteries, at the Beijing auto show in April 2022, but the event was scrapped because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the sources said.
The pricing of the bZ3 could not be determined, but according to sources, the EV is expected to sell for around 200,000 yuan (approx. $28,000), nearly 30% below an entry-level Tesla Model 3.
The bZ3 will be manufactured in Tianjin at a pace of 30,000 vehicles a year on the same assembly as the bZ4X, the sources reported. The Tianjin plant is jointly operated by Toyota and one of its two Chinese partners, FAW Group.
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