Toyota Helps Suzuki Build First Electric Car

Electric Vehicles / 4 Comments

It might even be based on the upcoming bZ3X.

Earlier this year, Suzuki announced it would invest more than $1 billion into future electric vehicle production. The brand, no longer offered in the US, currently produces a range of fuel-efficient vehicles but is yet to introduce an EV. But as Drive reports, the company could be preparing to debut an all-electric car very shortly.

The Futuro-E (pictured below) debuted two years ago and gave us a glimpse into the company's future endeavors. The billion-dollar investment would see the company produce vehicles in its biggest market (India), meaning the first-ever Suzuki EV will likely be affordable and built for the masses.

To keep costs down, there's a very good chance that Suzuki may team up with Toyota, a company with which it shares several strategic alliances. For example, Toyota sells rebadged Suzuki models in certain markets and vice versa. In Europe, buyers are able to purchase a Suzuki-badged RAV4 known as the Across.

Maruti Suzuki

If Suzuki's first EV is to remain wallet-friendly, we're guessing it won't be based on the larger bZ4X. As a reminder, the battery-powered Toyota is priced at $42,000 - way more than the average Suzuki product. Therefore, it's safe to assume Suzuki may base its electric vehicle on the smaller bZ3X. Slated as a fully-electric version of the new CH-R, rumors suggest the smaller Toyota EV will arrive by 2024.

This theory makes a lot of sense, as the Futuro-E shares several styling cues with the bZ3X and appears to be the same size. The crossover shape also remains popular with EV buyers, who continue to abandon sedans and hatchbacks in favor of the high-riding bodystyle. Hopefully, this will allow Suzuki to pass on the savings to consumers, many of whom simply cannot afford an electric vehicle.

Maruti Suzuki

But electric mobility isn't the only thing on Suzuki's agenda. Like Toyota, the Japanese automaker is taking a measured approach and currently offers an extensive range of hybrid vehicles. The company has also teamed up with several other manufacturers to research the feasibility of biofuels.

Hopefully, as Suzuki finds its feet in the electric vehicle segment, we can expect several more exciting offerings. A battery-powered Jimny would be particularly appealing (if offered here officially) and so too would a dedicated sports car based upon the Vision Gran Turismo.

It remains to be seen what Suzuki has up its sleeve but, frankly, this makes the most sense. Toyota and Suzuki have a great working relationship and this will allow Suzuki to enter a burgeoning segment without committing itself to excessive development costs.

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Source Credits: Drive

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