2023 Toyota BZ4X delayed for Australia, but it will be an updated model

2023 Toyota BZ4X delayed for Australia, but it will be an updated model

The first Toyota electric car to be sold in Australia has been delayed until the end of this year – as an updated model with a hefty price tag.

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The arrival of the 2023 Toyota BZ4X electric car – an identical twin of the upcoming Subaru Solterra – has been delayed for Australia.

The arrival in the showroom of the first electric car sold locally by Toyota has been pushed back to the second half of this year after it was originally supposed to be at the beginning of 2023.

Toyota Australia says pricing and specifications for the BZ4X electric car will be revealed closer to local arrival times, but the company has predicted it won’t be cheap.

“The reason we’ve delayed (BZ4X) is actually to ensure (adequate) supply and the latest specification,” Toyota Australia sales and marketing boss Sean Hanley said. “Those are the two fundamental reasons.”

When asked how many orders have been placed for the Toyota BZ4X in Australia, the manager said as the vehicle is not yet on sale, there is no formal ordering process.

“We don’t have exact (production) numbers yet … but we expect to have a reasonable launch volume for this car based on our market size.

“We know (the demand for) electric cars is accelerating. We will move with the market. We will have product available and we will have choice available.”

When asked for an estimate on the price for the Toyota BZ4X, the senior Toyota Australia executive said: “Battery electric cars are expensive, don’t kid yourself.

“They are expensive to build. If you want quality, safety, performance and (driving) range, they are expensive.

“Lithium prices have gone through the roof. This car will not be a cheap car.”

When asked how long it will take for electric cars to become more affordable, Toyota Australia indicated they may never reach price parity with petrol cars.

“As we go forward – as hybrids have done over 22 years and scaled up – (the cost of electric cars) will come down in price.”

However, he noted, they may eventually decide to “cost 15 or 20 percent more than a (gasoline) car as they scale up (in production).”

“Hybrid took 22 years (for prices to become affordable). Electric cars won’t take 22 years, it’s moving fast. In five to 10 years, there will be a large number of (electric cars) out there, of which Toyota will be among them.”

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Joshua Dowling has been a motoring journalist for over 20 years, most of that time spent with The Sydney Morning Herald (as motoring editor and one of the early members of the Drive team) and News Corp Australia. He joined CarAdvice / Drive in 2018 and has been a World Car of the Year judge for over 10 years.

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