Toyota’s first battery electric bZ4X is finally launched in Taiwan, with exclusive distributor Hotai Motor setting a starting price of NT$1.599 million, in the hopes of carving up the Taiwanese BEV market. Those who are interested should act quickly since only 300 units are available for the first batch.
It is better late than never, as the battery electric bZ4X of Toyota is now finally available in Taiwan at a price tag of NT$1.599 million, which although isn’t all that affordable from Toyota’s product line, is regarded as an entry level for BEVs.
The Taiwanese EV market has been considerably lively this year. Although nothing has been heard from the anticipated Tesla Model Y, the remarkable sales of Hyundai’s IONIQ 5 and Kia’s EV6, as well as the robust performance of the Audi e-tron and BMW iX, and now the Toyota bZ4X, are nourishing the market.
The bZ4X adopted with the brand new BEV platform eTNGA is the first key product of Toyota in challenging the BEV market, and has a maximum driving range of more than 600km according to the official statistics, which is relatively sufficient for Taiwanese users.
bZ4X comes with two drive configurations, and Taiwan has only imported the front-wheel drive (FWD) variation. Fans should not be disappointed since the all-wheel drive (AWD) variation has only 17 additional horsepower, with no major differences in acceleration and performance, yet the vehicle has much less driving range. The FWD variation is the better choice all around.
Although Toyota is claiming that BZ4x has a driving range of 600km, with a fast-charging power of 150kW, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s statistics indicate that the vehicle merely has about 400km of driving range, while foreign media’s actual tests also show that the fast-charging power did not arrive at the highest power of 150kW. These results require further confirmation.
▲The cockpit of bZ4X has integrated innovative and traditional design languages that are both refreshing and reassuring.
In terms of technology, the bZ4X has adopted with Toyota Safety Sense 3.0, as well as offers a self-driving of roughly Level 2, and is equipped with automatic security functions such as adaptive cruise control (ACC), lane departure alert (LDA), and parking support brake (PKSB), which are quite a package for existing models in the market.
The biggest selling point remains to be the price tag. The Toyota bZ4X is slightly different in the sales method this time, where the starting price of NT$1.599 million comes with almost everything, with nothing additional to offer, and a charging credit of NT$20K is also given to buyers when they preorder the vehicle through the App. Compared to the previous Kia EV6 that was priced at NT$1.589 million for the basic model and NT$1.87 million for the high driving range model, bZ4X’s price tag is comparatively straightforward.
bZ4X has less innovative technology compared to EVs of other manufacturers, though the company’s reliable brand image, coupling with a design that bears similarities to RAV4, have significantly brought down buyers’ doubts in converting from gasoline to electricity. bZ4X is NT$300-400K more expensive than the HEV variation of RAV4, which is an unavoidable internal cost for lithium batteries.
Despite a small number of new EVs in Taiwan this year, they are almost sold out instantly upon availability, which has something to do with the EV tendency on the one hand, as well as the prolonged delivery time of vehicles on the other hand. Nonetheless, the entry of Toyota in the market is bound to invigorate the Taiwanese EV market this year, followed by a diversity in EVs on the road.
(Cover photo source: Toyota)