Fast chargers signal imminent arrival of Toyota's first all-electric vehicle

By CARSIFU | 18 October 2022

PETALING JAYA: A year ago, these structures were absent from the UMW Toyota Motor headquarters in Shah Alam.

But the fast chargers were freshly installed and were spotted recently near the Toyota distributor's main entrance. Three fast chargers and a chargEV AC charger were lined up and a number of parking bays were demarcated. That can only mean one thing.

UMW Toyota Motor will soon start selling pure electric cars. Toyota is late to the game but it eventually came around to doing it when it saw the EV momentum picking up on the global front.

It's an open secret what that first Toyota electric vehicle for Malaysia is going to be. Tip: it will be an SUV — a bodystyle that is popular in many parts of the world.

Thailand has traditionally been a leading indicator into what Toyota models will come to Malaysia as they are usually the first to launch models there.

The bZ4x was displayed at the Bangkok Motor Show in March.

The trend continues as it has been widely reported that Thailand would start selling the bZ4x towards the end of 2022. The electric SUV was showcased at the 2022 Bangkok Motor Show in March.

If history is any indication, the electric SUV would roll its way into Malaysia in early 2023 at the latest.

The bZ4x comes in front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations with a range of 500km and 460km respectively.

Like the Subaru Solterra EV, the bZ4x is built upon the new e-TNGA platform for EVs.

Toyota had previously claimed its  battery electric vehicle series' batteries, starting with the ones in bZ4x, would retain more than 90% of their capacity after a decade.

Its batteries, developed with Panasonic Corp, contain a special coolant that does not conduct electricity easily. Battery packs are also structured to keep the cells and coolant separated in case of a leak.

UMW Toyota Motor HQ_chargers_Oct_2022 (5)

Whether the bZ4x's first recall would delay the rollout of the BEV remains to be seen.

In June, Japan's largest automaker recalled 2,700 bZ4Xs globally after discovering that there was a risk the car's wheels could come loose. It said earlier this month the defect had been fixed and production would restart.

UMW Toyota Motor president Ravindran K. had also disclosed recently that the company would introduce electric vehicles not just for Toyota but Lexus as well  in the near future.

“You can see many foreign brands introducing EVs in Malaysia.

“We are slightly slow (in the rollout) but we already have the technology,” he said, adding that the company was taking the introduction of the EV line-up introduction in its stride to build customer confidence and avoid mistakes.