Toyota's First EV Is Finally Back On Sale

Electric Vehicles / 3 Comments

The automaker plans to sell just 10,000 examples this year.

Toyota has finally put the bZ4X back on sale in America, following a recall for wheels that could detach that occurred mere months after its initial launch. But even though there's a fix for the problem Toyota Motors North America isn't holding out much hope for its first modern electric vehicle's success, reports Car & Driver.

The automaker told the publication that it plans to only sell 10,000 units locally this year, which is some way behind what rival brands achieved in 2022. Volkswagen, for example, managed to shift 20,511 ID.4 SUVs last year. While Toyota realizes it needs to have an electric vehicle in its lineup, the brand has made it clear that it believes hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles are the way forward.

2023 Toyota bZ4X Side View Toyota

Chief scientist for Toyota, Gill Pratt, recently explained that pure electric vehicles require plenty of raw materials. Instead of building one EV, the automaker could build far more hybrids or PHEVs, he argued.

That's not to say Toyota doesn't want people to buy the bZ4X. The company admits it needs to shine a light on the forgotten EV and will soon launch a new marketing campaign in May to remind consumers that it actually exists.

Even though the recall and stop-sale are a thing of the past, both hindered the bZ4X in the marketplace. Now, the vehicle has to contend with the Inflation Reduction Act, which gives a $7,500 discount to rivals that are built in the United States.

2023 Toyota bZ4X Driving Front Angle Toyota

The starting price of $42,000 is appealing, but customers may turn a blind eye to the Japanese-built bZ4X when they realize they can get a better deal on an ID.4 or Tesla Model 3.

While that may make it difficult for the bZ4X to succeed, Keller told C&D that there's a possibility a customer may be able to benefit from incentives should they choose to lease. However, this remains unclear for now. This 45W commercial clean vehicle credit isn't given to the customer but to the lessor who may choose to reduce rates.

If Toyota dealers choose to pass this on to customers, it will make a lot of sense. Hyundai and Ford have both said the EV lease tax credit is positive for the marketplace and can be used to support customers, but neither announced whether they would pass these benefits on to lessees.

2023 Toyota bZ4X Driving Back View Toyota

Whether the bZ4X becomes a relative success remains to be seen. It got off to a rocky start and, even though the automaker has come up with a fix, it may be a case of too little, too late for some.

Toyota, known for its attentive customer care, tried to take care of affected bZ4X owners by offering loaner vehicles, complimentary charging, and even an extended warranty. Those who wanted to get rid of their vehicles were welcome to do so through a buyback program.

Hopefully, the bZ4X can impact the US market, despite its difficult introduction. With any luck, future electric Toyota models will make a better splash. The automaker would do well to ensure new EVs are assembled in the US so consumers can take advantage of the appealing incentives.

2023 Toyota bZ4X Steering Wheel Toyota

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2023 Toyota bZ4X Side View
2023 Toyota bZ4X Driving Front Angle
2023 Toyota bZ4X Driving Back View
2023 Toyota bZ4X Steering Wheel

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