Make / Model Search

News - Toyota - BZ4X

Fleet focus for electric Toyotas

Toyota Australia expects government and fleet buyers to flock to all-electric bZ4X

4 Mar 2024

TOYOTA Australia says it expects fleet buyers to flock to the new bZ4X electric SUV, with local, state, and federal government customers likely to be drawn to the brand’s first battery electric vehicle (BEV), as well as other fleet buyers.


With a competitive pricing position starting at $66,000 before on-road costs, decent driving range of up to 436km, and the nation’s widest dealership network, it is clear there are lots of reasons to choose the electric bZ4X over rivals like the top-selling Tesla Model Y, the jointly-developed Subaru Solterra and others like the Kia EV6 and Hyundai’s Ioniq 5 and 6.


However, Toyota expects to sell just 1500 examples of the bZ4X per year in Australia, compared with the average of almost 2400 Tesla Model Ys sold each month last year, and less than the 2023 totals of similarly priced Kia EV6 and Polestar 2 models.


Toyota Australia vice president of sales and marketing Sean Hanley said that the brand has a modest target for its first BEV, which he says is guided by the understanding that Toyota still hits the spot for many fleet buyers thanks to its extensive hybrid model range.


Even so, Mr Hanley said that other BEVs are not Toyotas, and that will help the Japanese maker to build a new buyer base.  


“Because it’s new technology, I believe that people kind of want to stick with brands they trust,” said Mr Hanley, seemingly oblivious to BYD’s 12,438 BEV sales in Australia last year.


“Brands they know have a track record, and, not that I’m downgrading other brands, Toyota has been around a long, long time,” he continued.


“I think that’ll be helpful in our engagement with people on this vehicle. I do believe that trust is an important factor, and as I mentioned, not only is this a battery electric vehicle, it’s a Toyota. And I think that has a lot of meaning.”


The business is also banking on private buyers who are aiming to offset their carbon emissions, but Mr Hanley said bZ4X sales will primarily be from a mix of government, fleet, company and private customers that are ready to “make the transition” to BEV.


“It’s a big market, and a big opportunity,” he said of the potential to appeal to small and large government fleets in particular.  


“Whilst we will be pitching the bZ4X across all buyer types, we certainly see government as a big opportunity,” he said.


“Local, state, federal, but also companies are reaching out to us saying ‘we are interested to understand how we can reduce our carbon footprint through electric vehicles’.


“Our fleet mix is generally 48 percent of our normal sales, to be honest, so I don’t think that it will be terribly different. It might be heavier than 48 percent up front, but eventually it’ll sort of fall into that 48-52 percent private versus fleet.  


“Private buyers, I think, will be more dominant in the later part, but in the early part, it’ll be mostly fleet,” Mr Hanley said.


Toyota’s first BEV is offered in a base grade front-wheel drive model at $66,000 plus on-road costs, which is expected to attract the ‘vast majority’ of orders, while the more richly specified all-wheel drive version comes in at $74,900 + ORC.


Both the FWD and AWD models have a 71.4kWh battery pack, but driving range and efficiency differs between the two. The FWD model has a WLTP rated range of 436km and efficiency of 16.9kWh per 100km, while the heavier and higher-riding AWD version has 411km of EV range and 18.1kWh per 100km efficiency figures (WLTP).

Read more

Click to share

Click below to follow us on
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

Toyota articles

Motor industry news

GoAutoNews is Australia’s number one automotive industry journal covering the latest news, future and new model releases, market trends, industry personnel movements, and international events.

Catch up on all of the latest industry news with this week's edition of GoAutoNews
Click here