Toyota, a pioneer in hybrid vehicles, has a long way to go to reach its competitors in terms of all-electric cars. It now appears that the company will launch an affordable electric car, in collaboration with Chinese BYD.
According to a Reuters report on Friday, Toyota plans to launch a small electric sedan in China "at the end of next year". To build the vehicle, Toyota partnered with Chinese automaker BYD, which provided basic know-how to Blade lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) batteries, which are less bulky than standard car batteries.
The car itself will be slightly larger than a Toyota Corolla, sources claim, with one saying it will be like a Corolla with a more spacious rear seat. Toyota plans to officially unveil the new car at the Beijing Auto Show in April and will likely be launched as part of Toyota's bZ electric car line. The first car in the series was the Toyota bZ4X, a futuristic electric SUV that will hit the market in 2022.
A key feature of the new vehicle will be the price, which is reportedly below 200.000 yuan ($ 30.000) in China. Specifically, the Tesla, which is the largest manufacturer of electric cars in the world, does not have a car in this price range. However, it will not be the cheapest electric car in China. The Hong Guang Mini EV retails for $ 4.500. Of course, it is not yet clear if the car will be released outside China.
Source of information: mashable.com