Toyota has released the next vehicle in its bZ (Beyond Zero) electric range, but this one is only for the Chinese market.
The bZ3 sedan was created through a collaboration between Toyota, its Chinese manufacturing arm FAW Toyota, and BYD, which supplied the battery.
The lithium iron phosphate battery provides a claimed range of over 600km on the more lenient CLTC test cycle, but details on charging speeds have not yet been released.
Toyota says the bZ3’s battery structure, cooling, control, and safety monitoring systems were all newly designed for the car.
Additionally, Toyota aims to ensure 90 per cent battery capacity even after 10 years of use, made possible by leveraging the electrification expertise of itself and BYD.
While Toyota hasn’t officially detailed performance specifications, reports from China indicate there’ll be a choice of 136kW and 182kW single-motor rear-wheel drive powertrains.
It measures 4725mm long, 1835mm wide, 1475mm tall and rides a 2880mm wheelbase, while drag coefficient is a claimed 0.218.
Toyota says the front is akin to a hammerhead shark, and gives it a familial resemblance to the bZ4x.
Inside, there’s a large, portrait-oriented touchscreen and a free-standing digital instrument cluster.
There’s no steering yoke as seen in the bZ4x, but the steering wheel is squared-off, while a rotary dial shifter rises from a pronounced section of the centre console.
No official pricing details for the bZ3 have been released, but Reuters reported last month it will be priced around 200,000 yuan (AU$43,700). The Tesla Model 3 in China starts at 265,900 yuan (AU$57,858).
Although this is only the second EV from Toyota, which has been accused of being late to the electric charge, it has set a goal of 3.5 million EV sales by 2030 – approximately a third of its current output.
The aim is for Lexus, the premium arm of Toyota, to be entirely electric by 2035.
The first of Toyota’s electric models, the bZ4X SUV, has been confirmed for launch in Australia, but not until the second half of 2023.