Toyota BZ4X

NXracer

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But I think the biggest benefit TMC will have from this car is that their own engineers will start driving EVs, so they will see how it is important to have >11kwh AC charger day one, how it is important to have good one pedal driving (nothing mentions it so far), how important is the location of charging port, good cooling/heating of battery pack, compatibility with various different charging systems, etc, etc.

Plus how for same money you can buy Tesla that is faster than anything you ever produced, and that it is still fine - it is not that hard to do and you dont have to save that performance for cars you want to see at $200k.

Isn't that something you should be doing before you launch a product; "know your competitor and your customer equally"?

In the economy space which the BZ4x is, I don't think unfortunately we will see raw performance potential we saw with Tesla (ie defeating cars that cost 10x). In addition, I don't think Toyota will be willing to crack anything below a RAV4 due to the already high costs with the current TGNA EV platform.
 

Levi

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Isn't that something you should be doing before you launch a product; "know your competitor and your customer equally"?

In the economy space which the BZ4x is, I don't think unfortunately we will see raw performance potential we saw with Tesla (ie defeating cars that cost 10x). In addition, I don't think Toyota will be willing to crack anything below a RAV4 due to the already high costs with the current TGNA EV platform.
Actually, there is in the patent drawings a smaller hatchback/CUV sized like UX/CH-R/Corolla. So it will definitely come in the next few years to compete against iD.3 and Megan-e.
 

spwolf

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Isn't that something you should be doing before you launch a product; "know your competitor and your customer equally"?

In the economy space which the BZ4x is, I don't think unfortunately we will see raw performance potential we saw with Tesla (ie defeating cars that cost 10x). In addition, I don't think Toyota will be willing to crack anything below a RAV4 due to the already high costs with the current TGNA EV platform.

you have to start somewhere. It is not easy to understand these things in the lab, that is why they need real life experience they will now get. If Toyoda was smart and understood where the world is going, first 5000 of these would go to HQ in Japan, as well as 500 of various Tesla's. Because you can not design this outside the real world experience, and in Japan nobody has EVs, nobody has experience.

This is like building a race car without having a race team and race experience... you do have to start somewhere, but it is not easy and you are missing obvious things.

You can see it with little things like AC charger (which you use for home and free charging in public), that might seem ok to you - who will get more than 6.8kwh at home for charging? But then that means 10+hrs charging at home, office, shopping mall, often free, and it is quite a problem vs having 6+hr charging in same locations. Most EV owners are asking for 22kwh AC charging from Tesla too, they are limited to 11kwh these days. AC is also safer for battery.

Or you dont have frunk, it is too small, useless, right? But it is absolutely the only place where you should store 2-3 types of cables you have. My has 20m extension cord for shuko, then 6m shuko charger, then 3-4m AC cables. Lots of cables!

You cant store them in trunk, or even worse under the trunk because they wont be as easy to access while you have stuff in trunk! Maybe they thought of this and created trunk cover that has separate small opening, maybe 30cm max length, so you can open it even if you have bags in the trunk - wanna bet they didnt? Because they never had to charge their car with trunk full!

This is why you see companies like Rivan do some innovative stuff in space, they are able to think outside the box because for them EV tech is readily accessible and I bet every single one of their engineers drives an EV already, and quite few could be doing it for years now.
 

spwolf

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It does have one pedal driving

i am sure it does, it has to. They just never talked about it so I wonder how the implemention is, or do they think this is not important, overhyped, etc.

It also probably has huge HUD as well, we see huge slit in the middle of the dashboard, and version with yoke has programmable steering wheel buttons that are shown on their HUDs usually (in new NX). It could be also showing on that small instrument screen, but lets hope not.
 

LS500-18

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I think the point of the smaller screen in front of the driver being moved up is so you don't need a HUD, it's in between where a HUD would normally be and the normal gauge cluster...
 

spwolf

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I think the point of the smaller screen in front of the driver being moved up is so you don't need a HUD, it's in between where a HUD would normally be and the normal gauge cluster...

it is not as high as hud would be, and again, there is a huge slit in the middle of dashboard, cant be for vents (that is usually on the side, and back, not in the middle), plus there are touch tracer buttons on Yoke steering wheel which in 2022 NX work on HUD.
 

LS500-18

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My old Prius had the touch tracer buttons too but no HUD.

There is zero chance of a HUD in the Bz4x after looking at the pics again and the press release.
 
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spwolf

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My old Prius had the touch tracer buttons too but no HUD.

There is zero chance of a HUD in the Bz4x after looking at the pics again and the press release.

you are right, reflection of dash slit shows some kind of vent system:
1635720048921.png
 

LS500-18

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I'd be willing to try the bZ wing steering wheel. I've owned a few Model S's and that new yoke I think is OK *except* they put the horn, turn signals, and wipers on the wheel as touch-sensitive buttons. Had they put in stalks I would have been more receptive to their new implementation.

With the Bz it looks like there is still a small stalk on the left side.
 

spwolf

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I'd be willing to try the bZ wing steering wheel. I've owned a few Model S's and that new yoke I think is OK *except* they put the horn, turn signals, and wipers on the wheel as touch-sensitive buttons. Had they put in stalks I would have been more receptive to their new implementation.

With the Bz it looks like there is still a small stalk on the left side.

yeah, change to horn, stalks is weird, i dont see the reason for it in Model S.

Problem it has though is bigger - it is still the same steering, so turn to turn is still like in regular car, while BZ4X tries to fix that by making it drive by wire and adjustable, up to 150dg quick. Which might also feel really weird.

So it is either OMG future of the automobiles, or it will be really weird and hard to use/unpredictable. But it is going to be completely optional it seems.
 

bogglo

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I'm preety sure that Toyota engineers test drove some teslas and other EVs out there and decided to go the route they did. Nobody has ever walked into a Toyota dealership thinking about speed. So, I'm sure this will do fine even if it under perform when compared to tesla.
 
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you have to start somewhere. It is not easy to understand these things in the lab, that is why they need real life experience they will now get. If Toyoda was smart and understood where the world is going, first 5000 of these would go to HQ in Japan, as well as 500 of various Tesla's. Because you can not design this outside the real world experience, and in Japan nobody has EVs, nobody has experience.

This is like building a race car without having a race team and race experience... you do have to start somewhere, but it is not easy and you are missing obvious things.

You can see it with little things like AC charger (which you use for home and free charging in public), that might seem ok to you - who will get more than 6.8kwh at home for charging? But then that means 10+hrs charging at home, office, shopping mall, often free, and it is quite a problem vs having 6+hr charging in same locations. Most EV owners are asking for 22kwh AC charging from Tesla too, they are limited to 11kwh these days. AC is also safer for battery.

Or you dont have frunk, it is too small, useless, right? But it is absolutely the only place where you should store 2-3 types of cables you have. My has 20m extension cord for shuko, then 6m shuko charger, then 3-4m AC cables. Lots of cables!

You cant store them in trunk, or even worse under the trunk because they wont be as easy to access while you have stuff in trunk! Maybe they thought of this and created trunk cover that has separate small opening, maybe 30cm max length, so you can open it even if you have bags in the trunk - wanna bet they didnt? Because they never had to charge their car with trunk full!

This is why you see companies like Rivan do some innovative stuff in space, they are able to think outside the box because for them EV tech is readily accessible and I bet every single one of their engineers drives an EV already, and quite few could be doing it for years now.

I think you make some good points
 
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I'm preety sure that Toyota engineers test drove some teslas and other EVs out there and decided to go the route they did. Nobody has ever walked into a Toyota dealership thinking about speed. So, I'm sure this will do fine even if it under perform when compared to tesla.

I've walked into Toyota and Lexus dealerships WISHING they cared about speed on a model or two....

Is there an inherent negative correlation with speed and reliability in EVs?
 

Sulu

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Isn't that something you should be doing before you launch a product; "know your competitor and your customer equally"?

In the economy space which the BZ4x is, I don't think unfortunately we will see raw performance potential we saw with Tesla (ie defeating cars that cost 10x). In addition, I don't think Toyota will be willing to crack anything below a RAV4 due to the already high costs with the current TGNA EV platform.
I have no doubt that Toyota knows who the competitors are and what the customers expect from the bZ4x EV. Toyota is known for doing a lot of product analysis; the fact that it is still able to sell compact (Corolla) and mid-size (Camry) cars in North America alongside the best-selling compact crossover RAV4, while other automakers have dropped out of these car markets, is evidence of this.

The competitors of the bZ4x do not include Tesla models, but do include Volkswagen, Kia and Hyundai EV models. Tesla considers its competitors as the luxury brands, not the mass-market brands, which Toyota, Volkswagen, Kia and Hyundai are. That does not make the bZ4x an economy car, unless you consider the Avalon and Crown, Sienna and Highlander, all the way down to the Yaris and Aygo as economy cars. The bZ4x straddles the extremely popular compact and mid-size crossover markets; it has the wheelbase of the mid-size Highlander with the shorter length of the RAV4.

I could see the bZ4x listing for about US$40,000 in North America (about the same price or a bit more expensive than the RAV4 Prime and Highlander Hybrid), with government incentives bringing the price down to approximately the price of the Highlander. I believe that it will sell well. It will sell not because it is the perfect EV, but because it is a mid-size crossover and because it is built and sold by Toyota, which has a reputation for selling cars that many buyers are looking for (again, look at the Corolla, Camry, RAV4 and Highlander in North America).
 

NXracer

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I have no doubt that Toyota knows who the competitors are and what the customers expect from the bZ4x EV. Toyota is known for doing a lot of product analysis; the fact that it is still able to sell compact (Corolla) and mid-size (Camry) cars in North America alongside the best-selling compact crossover RAV4, while other automakers have dropped out of these car markets, is evidence of this.

The competitors of the bZ4x do not include Tesla models, but do include Volkswagen, Kia and Hyundai EV models. Tesla considers its competitors as the luxury brands, not the mass-market brands, which Toyota, Volkswagen, Kia and Hyundai are. That does not make the bZ4x an economy car, unless you consider the Avalon and Crown, Sienna and Highlander, all the way down to the Yaris and Aygo as economy cars. The bZ4x straddles the extremely popular compact and mid-size crossover markets; it has the wheelbase of the mid-size Highlander with the shorter length of the RAV4.

I could see the bZ4x listing for about US$40,000 in North America (about the same price or a bit more expensive than the RAV4 Prime and Highlander Hybrid), with government incentives bringing the price down to approximately the price of the Highlander. I believe that it will sell well. It will sell not because it is the perfect EV, but because it is a mid-size crossover and because it is built and sold by Toyota, which has a reputation for selling cars that many buyers are looking for (again, look at the Corolla, Camry, RAV4 and Highlander in North America).
I think we are in agreement in what the BZ4x is, a vehicle that will not sell because of being a perfect EV, but rather a vehicle that is expected to sell on marketing/brand heritage. This has worked in the past, but 7 years left on the road to EV adoption. Hopefully their BEV plan is more expansive then they are letting on.

Side note:
Yaris, Aygo, Crown, sienna and highlander are mass market economy cars, unless that designation has changed?
 
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ssun30

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I've walked into Toyota and Lexus dealerships WISHING they cared about speed on a model or two....

Is there an inherent negative correlation with speed and reliability in EVs?
Yes. Batteries ALWAYS have better durability when discharging at lower C-rate. This is inherent to the materials and you can't cheat science with clever engineering.

Most advertised cycles are tested at 1C, meaning 100kW power from a 100kWh pack. High performance BEVs these days have 5-6C which are very harmful on durability regardless of cooling. This is why many of them go into safe mode (heavily limited power/charging speed) after repeated drag races.

The usually accepted compromise between power and durability is 3C (e.g. 150kW from 50kWh, 300kW from 100kWh). This is also a very common C-rate in mass market EVs. BZ4X is at 2.2C so Toyota left some extra margins for reliability. But a hypothetical RZ450e with 230kW and the same 71kWh battery will be a bit over 3.2C.

Until SSBs (allow 2x C-rate) become common expect TMC EVs to always be down on power because they will restrict C-rate for 'better durability'. You already see this in their ICEVs where their engines always have less power than competition. That's part of the 'reliability tax'. They will eventually have 300kW+ models but nothing crazy like 600kW+.

If you want good performance, you should avoid Toyota or Lexus and that will be especially true in the EV era. The few performance cars they have in their lineup are all Akio's pet projects, not the brand's core strategy. This is inherently different from BMW where M is part of the brand's DNA and all products are engineered with a M variant in mind regardless of market demand.
 
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ssun30

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The competitors of the bZ4x do not include Tesla models, but do include Volkswagen, Kia and Hyundai EV models. Tesla considers its competitors as the luxury brands, not the mass-market brands, which Toyota, Volkswagen, Kia and Hyundai are. That does not make the bZ4x an economy car, unless you consider the Avalon and Crown, Sienna and Highlander, all the way down to the Yaris and Aygo as economy cars. The bZ4x straddles the extremely popular compact and mid-size crossover markets; it has the wheelbase of the mid-size Highlander with the shorter length of the RAV4.
In China, Toyota's NEVs such as Corolla PHV and RAV4 PHV so far have flopped despite their very good value proposition. People aren't nearly as crazy about the RAV4 PHV as they are in USA. Having 225kW and 5.9s 0-100km/h time have almost no effect on their decisions.

Interestingly, the biggest competitors to Toyota NEVs are HEVs in the same showroom. For vast majority of consumers today HEVs is the most sensible purchasing option and the fact that those HEVs are so good makes NEVs very hard to sell to customers.

VW has less of this problem as their ICEV lineup has become very stale over the years. Without fresh products and good HEVs people naturally gravitate towards NEVs that are actually new.

The 'green plates' (license plates for NEVs that don't require the very expensive bidding for 'blue plates') should have made those PHVs no-brainer because they effectively save them ¥100k ($15k). But people aren't stupid and realize green plates eventually expire and it's better to invest in a blue plate now. So a lot them buy HEVs despite the higher actual purchasing cost.
 
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Levi

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Another table, price table based on starting price in France (Europe), without deductions. I also included the cheapest in the category for comparison sake.

ModelBatteryPowerRangePrice
RAV4 HEV (2WD)
RAV4 HEV (4WD)
RAV4 PHEV (4WD)
-
-
-
215 HP
219 HP
302 HP
-
-
-
47.950 €
50.000 €
58.100 €
bZ4X (2WD)
bZ4X (4WD)
71,4 kWh
71,4 kWh
201 HP
214 HP
500 km
460 km
?
?
Lexus UX 300e (2WD)54,4 kWh201 HP306 km49.990 €
VW iD.4 (2WD)77,0 kWh201 HP520 km48.350 €
Skoda Enyaq (2WD)52,0 kWh
58,0 kWh
77,0 kwH
146 HP
177 HP
201 HP
362 km
411 km
533 km
36.720 €
41.960 €
48.510 €
Hyundai IONIQ 5 (2WD)73,0 kWh215 HP481 km46.800 €
Kia EV6 (2WD)77,4 kWh226 HP528 km47.990 €
Tesla 3 (2WD)54,2 kWh320 HP448 km43.800 €
Tesla Y (4WD)80,6 kWh434 HP507 km59.990 €


It is not easy to estimate the price of bZ4X. But I do not expect it to start alot under 50.000 € for 2WD, nor to start more than 60.000 € for 4WD. Toyota has never been "cheap" (in recent times) compared to competitors, but rather fair value. Also, Toyota having gone with 2 smaller motors for 4WD, will very likely make the price difference more like RAV4 HEV 2WD and 4WD, so the AWD version might be much cheaper than competitors, also because those have more power, making 4WD alot more compelling for the buyer in Europe that now really wants 4WD more than before. It might be the cheapest 4WD BEV, which also screams "Subaru" product. There is no point in talking about the North American market, before 2025. Telsa Y is not a competitor until the Berlin factory starts production, it also depends on the models.
 
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LS500-18

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The competitors of the bZ4x do not include Tesla models, but do include Volkswagen, Kia and Hyundai EV models. Tesla considers its competitors as the luxury brands, not the mass-market brands, which Toyota, Volkswagen, Kia and Hyundai are.
That's a good point. Everyone compares every EV to a Tesla but in reality that's not always it's competition...
 
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Yes. Batteries ALWAYS have better durability when discharging at lower C-rate. This is inherent to the materials and you can't cheat science with clever engineering.

Most advertised cycles are tested at 1C, meaning 100kW power from a 100kWh pack. High performance BEVs these days have 5-6C which are very harmful on durability regardless of cooling. This is why many of them go into safe mode (heavily limited power/charging speed) after repeated drag races.

The usually accepted compromise between power and durability is 3C (e.g. 150kW from 50kWh, 300kW from 100kWh). This is also a very common C-rate in mass market EVs. BZ4X is at 2.2C so Toyota left some extra margins for reliability. But a hypothetical RZ450e with 230kW and the same 71kWh battery will be a bit over 3.2C.

Until SSBs (allow 2x C-rate) become common expect TMC EVs to always be down on power because they will restrict C-rate for 'better durability'. You already see this in their ICEVs where their engines always have less power than competition. That's part of the 'reliability tax'. They will eventually have 300kW+ models but nothing crazy like 600kW+.

If you want good performance, you should avoid Toyota or Lexus and that will be especially true in the EV era. The few performance cars they have in their lineup are all Akio's pet projects, not the brand's core strategy. This is inherently different from BMW where M is part of the brand's DNA and all products are engineered with a M variant in mind regardless of market demand.

Great explanation. Appreciated.