Toyota Plans to Show Its New Electric SUV April 19

Toyota has been showing teaser images of a small electric SUV that could be close to the RAV4 in size and is being jointly developed with Subaru, as well as a Camry-sized EV likely in the works for later this year. A released sketch of the SUV showed a lower and more rakish profile than a RAV4, and now Toyota has released another teaser image, and has announced that the small SUV is going to be unveiled April 19 at the Shanghai motor show.

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The SUV was previewed late last year when the EV partnership with Subaru was announced. At the time the SUV was said to be intended for Europe. The company’s e-TNGA platform that Subaru and Toyota have co developed specifically for EVs, will underpin the sedan and SUV. The latter is the first of six EVs that will use e-TNGA, an architecture designed to be flexible enough so it can be used for different lengths and wheelbases. Toyota has said it can also be used for front-, rear-, and four-wheel-drive powertrains with a variety of battery capacities.

Toyota officials in the U.S. wouldn’t tell us if the crossover being shown in Shanghai is coming here, but we have reported that Toyota plans to introduce two EVs here, one sedan and one small crossover, based on the e-TNGA platform. We also reported that the company has trademarked the BZ name expected to be used for its battery-electric models, with BZ standing for Beyond Zero, the same slogan used in this teaser video the company sent with the latest image:

A couple months ago AutoPacific industry analyst Robby DeGraff told us that while Toyota was doing very well with hybrids, with “traditional legacy automakers like Volkswagen, GM, and Hyundai actively pivoting to full electrification, Toyota needs to catch up and do so very quickly,” and that the company needs to “mirror that passion it has for its hybrids and also put it towards pure-electrics.” He called the e-TNGA platform “promising.”

He said the company needs to “carry that momentum forward to offerings like a RAV4-sized battery-electric crossover, or larger three-row crossover to take on VW’s ID.6 due to bow here in a few short years.”

It looks like Toyota is heading in that direction, and the next couple of years will be critical for the company’s EV efforts.

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