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October 25, 2022

Toyota Is Going Against The Tesla Model 3 With The Help Of BYD

In order to spearhead its electric vehicle program, the world’s largest carmaker, Toyota launches the second member of its bZ or Beyond Zero electric vehicle range. This time, however, instead of turning to a Japanese carmaker like they did with Subaru and the bZ4X, they went straight to the world’s biggest electrified vehicle manufacturer, BYD, for their expertise.

That’s right. The first-ever bZ3 is a jointly-developed 5-seater sedan from a BYD Toyota EV joint-venture (BTET or BYD Toyota EV Technology Co., Ltd.). Toyota says over a 100 of its engineers from design, production, engineering, and quality control worked in unison with their counterparts from BYD and FAW Toyota, whose dealership network will sell the bZ3.

The bZ3 utilizes battery technology straight from BYD which Toyota acknowledges to be “advanced, safe, and reliable.” The BYD Blade Battery and its lithium-ion LFP construction provides a maximum cruising range of 600 kilometers (Toyota hasn’t revealed the total kWh size). Moreover, thanks to Toyota’s extensive experience working with Hybrid Electric Vehicles or HEVs, they have reduced battery degradation to a minimum. Even after 10 years of use, it will have 90 percent of its original capacity intact.

Using the e-TNGA platform which also underpins the bZ4X, the bZ3 promises responsive performance, low center of gravity, and excellent handling. In addition, the driving position is configured in a way to minimize muscle strain and fatigue for a more enjoyable driving experience.

The design concept, Toyota says, it centered around “Family Lounge” which emphasizes a “coherent and comfortable” interior space. With that, it has a large vertical center display with a tray-type console. The display incorporates several functions such as air conditioning and even trunk release ala the Tesla Model 3.

Meanwhile, outside, the bZ3 has a hammerhead shark-like styling. The long wheelbase of the e-TNGA platform provided designers a canvas that exudes stability and power. It’s also extremely slippery with a co-efficient of drag at just 0.218 thanks to integrated aero elements, flat door handles, and even aero-optimized wheels.

Production of the first-ever Toyota bZ3 is expected to start by the end of this year. China will be its primary market where it will have a starting price of just USD 28,000 (P 1.644 million).

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