Toyota unveils two new electric car concepts

Toyota has previewed two new electric vehicle (EV) concept models, which will have final versions launched to the market over the next two years.

The Urban SUV and Sport Crossover concepts follow the Compact SUV concept Toyota revealed last year and the company’s first and only fully-electric model currently on sale — the bZ4X.

The Urban SUV concept features a close-to-production design for a model that will roll out in 2024 in “what’s expected to become one of Europe’s largest BEV market segments”.

Toyota said the model will boast an “authentic” SUV design and draw on the success of the hybrid electric Toyota Yaris Cross.

“As well as the option of all-wheel drive — a key element for Toyota products — customers will also have two battery choices, to suit their budget or driving range requirements.”

Toyota did not provide much detail about the Sport Crossover Concept, except that it would influence an alternative to SUV models with a “distinctive, fastback” profile.

The first model based on this concept is planned for introduction in Europe in 2025.

Below are the Toyota Urban SUV and Sport Crossover EV concepts.

Toyota’s Sport Crossover (left) and Urban SUV (right) concepts

Toyota also repeated its timeline for releasing next-generation batteries to make zero-emission mobility more affordable and accessible.

The first series of batteries will feature a conventional structure with twice the current driving range at a 20% lower cost than the one used in the bZ4X.

Next up for release will be a low-cost battery aimed at popularising electric cars, with a 20% increase in range over the bZ4X’s pack and 40% lower cost.

“It will have a new shape, a bipolar structure and use cheaper lithium-ion phosphate as its principal material,” Toyota said.

“The aim is for this to increase range by 20% and reduce cost by 40% versus the bZ4X.

10–80% charge in 10 minutes

Lastly, Toyota is working on a high-performance battery that will employ bipolar technologies and a high nickel cathode, promising vastly improved range with “even lower costs”.

Toyota has also said it made a “technological breakthrough” in solid-state battery development that addresses the durability issues typically experienced with these battery types.

“A method for mass production is currently being developed, and we are striving for commercialisation in 2027–2028 with production capacity of several tens of thousands of vehicles,” said Toyota.

The company aims for this battery to have a recharge rate of 10–80% in just 10 minutes.

While Toyota is South Africa’s best-selling car brand, it is only expected to start selling its first fully electric models in the country from 2025.

Below are more images of Toyota’s two new EV concepts, which will be used as the starting points for two real models launching over the next two years.

Urban SUV concept

Sport Crossover concept

Now read: South Africa’s long-awaited electric car roadmap unveiled

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Toyota unveils two new electric car concepts