Toyota’s battery electric SUV bZ4x is about to be released around the world, and something about the vehicle, aside from the not-so stunning specifications, has caught attention: the time that it requires to be charged from 0-80% in fast charging mode is approximately one hour.
Toyota bZ4x not only has a name that is tricky to pronounce, but its charging speed may also disappoint a lot of car fanatics. According to what Toyota previously announced, bZ4x is able to go up to 150kW in charging power, which means that going from 0-100% should take about only 30 minutes.
However, Toyota has hidden a minor detail.
It turns out that bZ4x comes with two variations that are FWD and AWD, with the former adopting Panasonic’s batteries and the latter adopting CATL’s batteries, and CATL’s batteries for Toyota are only supportive of a maximum 100kW power.
Toyota announced that the 30 minutes fast charging mode is only available on the FWD variation, where it would take only 30 minutes from low battery to 80%. The company did not announce the statistics for the AWD variation, and the results from actual testing by foreign media are even more shocking.
The power of bZ4x while charging from zero was essentially stabilized at merely 87kW, and dropped by 50% after 25 minutes of charging, when the total power was merely at 50%.
The total power only arrived at 80% after 62 minutes. Generally speaking, DC fast charging would lower the power when the battery reaches 80% in capacity so as to protect the lifespan. It’s just that the degree of reduction for bZ4x is even more astounding, where the power is down to 10kW when the battery reaches 87%, before dropping to only 1kW when the battery reaches 94%, which is even lower than the 7kW for AC slow charging in households.
Finally, it would take a total of 264 minutes to charge the AWD variation of bZ4x from zero to 100%, and here comes another surprise that was not disclosed by Toyota. As indicated by the charging results, the total power from zero to 100% was 61kWh, which is 11kWh lower than the 72.8kWh announced by the company.
Based on Toyota’s statistics regarding the energy consumption of bZ4x, the model is expected to have a driving range of approximately 338km under a consumption of 188Wh for each kilometer, and a total power of 61kW would not be enough to travel from Taipei to Tainan, let alone the additional one hour that is required for charging in half way.
There are not many actual tests on the charging capability of bZ4x. From Toyota’s perspective, the design is obviously built on a conservative approach for two reasons, which are the prevention of fire from an excessive power, as well as an elevation of reserve power in fear of wrong calculation on battery. With that being said, the time of fast charging may largely impact users’ plans; one can go to the toilet or have a drink for 10 minutes, do some simple shopping between 15 and 20 minutes, and have a quick meal for 30 minutes. But for more than 40 minutes? That’s about a full meal there.
The Toyota bZ4x is expected to launch in Taiwan this week. Those who often travel long distance should carefully consider the variations and charging time to avoid regrets.
(Cover photo source: Toyota)