Car giant Toyota has unveiled a concept version of what is destined become its first ever pure electric car – and the company says it will be one of seven electric vehicles it will introduce by the end of 2025.
The Toyota BZ4X Concept was presented on the opening day of the 2021 Shanghai Motor Show today, taking centre stage in the world's biggest car market.
While Toyota is the global leader in petrol-electric hybrid technology – having sold more than 17 million hybrid cars after introducing the technology globally in 1997 – it has been slow to roll out a pure electric car.
Toyota experimented with a limited run of electric Toyota RAV4 SUVs in California from 1997 to 2003 and from 2012 to 2014, however those vehicles were part of a fleet trial and not available for the general public to buy.
The Toyota BZ4X Concept (BZ stands for 'beyond zero' emissions) will be the first pure electric vehicle sold globally by the world's biggest car maker.
The concept vehicle depicts a modern SUV similar in size to a Toyota RAV4.
A statement from Toyota said the company "will introduce the Toyota BZ4X battery electric vehicle to the Australian market, with timing to be confirmed closer to launch."
CarAdvice understands the Australian arrival of the production version of the Toyota BZ4X Concept will likely be some time after the vehicle is introduced overseas in 2022.
Cost is yet to be determined, however the Toyota electric car would likely be priced more than the three cheapest electric cars currently on sale in Australia: the MG ZS EV (from $43,990), Hyundai Ioniq (from $48,970) and Nissan Leaf (from $49,990).
Information released today did not include estimated driving range or outline the capacity of the battery pack.
In a media statement, Toyota Australia sales and marketing chief Sean Hanley said: "Adding the first battery electric vehicle to our range builds on our approach of providing a variety of powertrain options, while reducing emissions. Further 'BZ' series vehicles will be considered and introduced as appropriate for Australia in due course, expanding Toyota's electrified vehicle choices."
The high-ranking Toyota Australia executive said the company promised to offer an "extensive range of vehicles, whilst recognising the different practical needs of Australian customers and geographies".
"We will continue to evaluate the market in Australia and strive towards increasing to a powertrain mix that includes a form of electrification across our vehicle range by 2030, excluding GR and performance models," said Mr Hanley.