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Toyota preparing to join EV truck, SUV green wave – big time

By James Raia
Like several rivals, Toyota plans to vastly expand its electric vehicle lineup worldwide. The carmaker predicts it will offer approximately 70 electrified models by 2025.

According to the manufacturer’s information released at the Auto Shanghai 2021 expo in China, the new offerings will include 15 fully electric vehicles. Several will carry the carmaker’s new designation “BZ.” It stands for Beyond Zero.

Toyota unveiled its BZ electric crossover concept at Shanghai Auto.
Toyota unveiled its BZ electric crossover concept at Shanghai Auto.

Toyota hasn’t revealed what new vehicles will feature hybrid or fully electric versions. But the company announced in a press release it “intends to bring electrification to its pickup truck lineup soon, including hybrid and BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) powertrains.”

One logical choice for Toyota would be its full-sized Tundra. Its third generation is expected to debut later in 2021.

Toyota ready to electrify fleet

More than 20 years ago, Toyota was at the forefront of hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles. Its Prius was the first hybrid offered nationwide and remains the green segment leader.

More recently, the manufacturer debuted the Mirai, its hydrogen sedan. Honda and Hyundai are the only other two mainstream manufacturers offering hydrogen vehicles.

The production version of the BZ4X compact crossover, on display as a concept at Auto Shanghai, will be the company’s first modern BEV offered for sale globally. Toyota has confirmed plans to build the model in both Japan and China for worldwide sales in 2022.

Toyota hasn’t followed other manufacturers with pending alternative fuel pickup trucks like Chevrolet, Ford, Nissan, Rivian and Tesla.

READ MORE:

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James Raia, a syndicated columnist in Sacramento, California, publishes a free weekly automotive podcast and electronic newsletter. Sign-ups are available on his website, www.theweeklydriver.com. He can be reached via email: james@jamesraia.com.

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