2023 Toyota bZ4X Preview

Discussion in 'In the News' started by xcel, Nov 30, 2021.

  1. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    It had better be designed to tolerate single points of failure, if not multiple. Similar issue exists with today's airplanes. I have never experienced a power steering failure though I would imagine it can be difficult to avoid a crash if it were to occur.

    I checked casually and it appears that Tesla's yoke steering does require multiple turns of the wheel/yoke to go lock to lock. Bizarre and probably destined to kill someone. I like Lexus' version better.
    EdwinTheMagnificent and xcel like this.
  2. Trollbait

    Trollbait Well-Known Member

    Tesla is probably thinking you won't actually be the one driving.
    xcel and BillLin like this.
  3. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    Five Cons and Pros to Know About the All-New, All-Electric Toyota bZ4X

    Toyota’s introduction of the bZ4X represents the first of a series of BEVs to be introduced under the “Toyota bZ” (Beyond Zero) brand umbrella. This all-electric lineup includes zero local emissions and is part of the automaker’s portfolio of vehicles, which will include 15 upcoming BEVs.

    Here are five traits of the all-new Toyota bZ4X I will add my own opinion on.

    Design Style - FAIL

    This all-new, all-electric bZ4X includes a futuristic design including the curved front bumper and large hammerhead shark-like shape that runs from the top of the hood to the top of the headlamps. It looks like a boat with no grille outline and what the hell is up with that gloss black cladding up into the headlamps???


    The rear design includes combination lamps, rear hatch and bumper’s trapezoidal theme, which extends all the way to the tires. Why the marker lamp falling away from the taillamp? It looks like an unnecessary add-on from an E-Bay seller.

    The available panoramic roof is pretty cool. Spacious seating for driver and passengers? Not really. The rear seat passengers cannot slide their feet under the front seats so there is not plenty of leg room. Plus, they can easily plug in and connect their devices with convenient and accessible USB ports at their fingertips. <-- What vehicle can you not do this in nowadays?


    Charging - Mixed

    Efficiency and charging performance is what the bZ4X is designed for... A decade ago, it would have been all the rage. Today, it ranks last in both Home Charging at 6.6 KW L2 from home at DCFCing at just 100 KW for the AWD. The 150 KW FWD variants were saved from this poor design decision. I saw one AWD bZ4X reviewer that was sitting at just 24 KW at 62% SOC! Absolutely and positively a total FAIL!!! All bZ4X models are equipped with a J1772/CCS (Combined Charging System (CCS)) socket, which allows for both home and public charging just like everybody else.

    Sure, the bZ4X reduces emissions like all electric vehicles but the engineering team wanted to keep the energy-saving momentum going. The bZ4X was designed to reduce energy consumption and power used for heating. With a std. heat pump for both heating and air-conditioning, seat and steering wheel heaters, and a new front-seat radiant foot-and-leg heater, drivers can stay warm no matter how cold the weather is outside.

    Drivetrain Performance - FAIL

    The bZ4X XLE FWD model has an EPA-estimated range rating of up to 252 miles and the XLE all-wheel drive (AWD) model has an EPA-estimated range of up to 228 miles. Both of these ranges are ARE terrible vs everybody. :( The low center of gravity thanks to the heavy pack below the floor helps with ride and handling and the soft suspension is one of if the few highlights. The lightweight body structure partially made of high-tensile steel contributes to the agility and maneuvering ease of the bZ4X. A newly designed accelerator pedal creates a smoother feel when accelerating and decelerating.

    The bZ4X has a new AWD system with Subaru's X-MODE, an available feature that makes light off-roading quite doable.


    Advanced Safety - PASS

    Toyota Safety Sense (TSS 3.0) has been upgraded with improvements to the millimeter wave radar and monocular camera, with a pre-collision system that now offers Low-Light Cyclist Detection, Daytime Motorcyclist Detection and Guardrail Detection. Also, lane recognition is enhanced to add improved functionality while in Lane Tracing Assist mode. It is now truly competitive with the Hyundai/Kia and VW/Porsche/Audi vehicles.

    Infotainment - PASS

    With a Drive Connect trial or subscription, a simple “Hey Toyota” can awaken the Toyota Audio Multimedia system for voice activated commands to search for the directions, adjust audio controls, change the cabin temperature and more. Drive Connect also offers navigation that uses poor map information from the cloud. Whether you need traffic or routing information, drivers are updated in real time. Thanks to wireless AA and ACP, there is no more sitting in traffic wondering when it will clear. The multimedia system features a beautiful 12.3" central display that was designed and developed here in the U.S. In actuality, anything with a Toyota designed GUI is not nearly as good as AA or ACP so just use AA or ACP. All-new bZ4X trims include an excellent wireless AA and ACP integration thank goodness.


    The Toyota app allows owners to connect to their bZ4X with the newly Remote Connect service on a 3-year trial service. Remote Connect gives drivers the ability to activate their headlights, horn alert, buzzer and hatch unlock features via the Toyota app. With the tap of a smartphone, owners can also remotely control the cabin temperature. This is especially useful in colder climates when drivers want to warm up the steering wheel and seats before entering their vehicles.

    Remote Connect and the available Digital Key feature allows owners to start, lock and unlock vehicles remotely. They can also be handed over between smartphones, making it easy for families and friends to borrow and lend vehicles remotely. This is cool.

    Remote Connect also allows owners to check the charging status of their vehicle and edit charging schedules. You know, just like we did with the Nissan LEAF almost a decade ago.

    The Toyota app even provides an easy-to-use map to find charging station locations for added convenience. No more wasting time searching online for the nearest station; drivers will know where to go, in turn creating a stress-free and enjoyable journey.

    Final take, do no take the AWD bZ4X on a road trip. It is not ready for it given the molasses slow DCFC capability and short range. You have other vehicles available for similar prices with more passenger and cargo volumes, more range, and faster charging solutions.

  4. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    Cladding ? is it still 1995 ? Makes a silly-looking car look even sillier.
    RedylC94, BillLin and xcel like this.
  5. Janice Cooper

    Janice Cooper Member

    EdwinTheMagnificent, xcel and BillLin like this.
  6. RedylC94

    RedylC94 Well-Known Member

    Yes, it does. Unpainted black plastic must be cheaper than paint or shiny metal.
    BillLin and xcel like this.
  7. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    And when you get wax on that textured surface, it's almost impossible to remove.
    xcel, RedylC94 and BillLin like this.
  8. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    More rugged looking. More protection. win-win. :D
  9. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    While at the Toyota Confidential event at Toyota's HQ in Plano, TX, they allowed me to finally take a FWD bZ4X out to record a charging profile.

    My thoughts on the AWD bZ4X with the Chinese CATL pack and 100 KW limited max power charging are irrelevant as the FWD bZ4X turned this completely around.

    2023 Toyota bZ4X Limited FWD Charging

    12-miles DTE in preps to charge.

    Charging on an Electrify America (ABB) 150 KW in Royse City, Texas early this morning.

    5 to 80% in 34-minutes.​

    Here are a few takeaways before I begin work and disseminating the 34-minute video to create the full charge profile.

    Since the 242-mile AER bZ4X in Limited trim only shows charge in miles, I assumed that with 12-miles of range left on the DTE display, the vehicle would be at ~ 5%. I guessed correctly in this regard. And yes, there were 12-miles of local loops to bring the DTE down to this exact level. :)

    The bZ4X initiated at 76 KW and within seconds was punching out 135 KW at 7%. This was exasperating as I was expecting a lot lower given the AWDs extremely poor charging performance by the few online recorded charge profiles I have seen. Below is the FWD bZ4Xs recorded RAW charging profile from 5 to 80%.

    5% - 76 KW <-- Initiated the charge.
    10% - 137 KW
    15% - 138 KW
    20% - 139 KW
    25% - 140 KW
    29% - Peak Charging Power occurred at 141 KW.
    30% - 141 KW
    35% - 130 KW
    40% - 117 KW
    45% - 104 KW
    50% - 74 KW
    55% - 64 KW <-- I began to worry as the ramp down was close to a 50% decline over the previous 15% - but it held just under this level for another 15%.
    60% - 60 KW
    65% - 59 KW
    70% - 54 KW
    75% - 47 KW
    80% - 42 KW

    The 75% increase in SOC showed that just 47.8 KWh was added??? With charger and vehicle losses, that means the bZ4X FWD's useable battery cap is just under 60KWh or so from its 71.4 KWh total rated capacity.

    While the charging falloff was steep after 45% SOC, with the efficiency to reach 242-miles on the Limited FWD - 252-miles for the XLT FWD, the result was very satisfactory. Considering our first charge of the 150 KW equipped, 303-miles of AER rating 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E California Route 1 from 7 to 82% took 52-minutes, on a range added per minute rate, the FWD bZ4X overall charging rate was faster!

    2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Charging Detail

    Just 11 KW after 82% SOC is the Mach-Es Achilles heel.​

    In conclusion, the FWD bZ4X with the Japan sourced 71.4 KWh Panasonic pack and 150 KW onboard charging capability showed that its charging profile and miles/minute tops the 2021 Mach-E, 2021 ID.4, and 2021 Polestar! The Mach-E and ID.4 received upgraded range and charging profiles for the 2022 MY so I cannot provide a competitive comment on the newer releases just yet.

    The next eye-opening metric to consider is the $9.00 total charging expense incl. $8.31 for the EA energy and $0.69 Texas state tax for 47.8 KWh. Texas is one of the states where Electrify America charges by the minute and with my EA Pass + rate of $0.24/minute, the 242-mile rated Limited and 252-mile rated XLT driven at EPA cost $0.037/mile and $0.357/mile respectively.

    2023 Toyota bZ4X XLT FWD vs my 2021 Toyota Prius Prime LE


    Dallas fuel prices are running ~ $4.40 per gallon and to drive my 2021 Prius Prime – the most efficient HEV/PHEV available in the U.S. currently, 252 miles at its EPA of 54 MPG on gasoline alone would see it consume 4.66 gallons or $20.54. Would you rather pay $9 to drive a larger and more comfortable bZ4X or $20.54 to drive the Prius Prime? Charging availability, reliability, and charging time notwithstanding, on a raw cost basis, the bZ4X sure makes a great case for ownership and with home charging at even lower rates, WOW!

    All-in, skip the AWD bZ4X and its Subaru Solterra sibling with extreme prejudice while the FWD bZ4X proved to be "In the Hunt" for your dollars. The low 6.6 KW onboard L2 charger, sightline above/between the wheel to the driver display, hard gloss black plastic into the headlamps, lack of a grille outline leading to a boat like front appearance, and poor below the front seat rear seating ergo are still obstacles but from a charging perspective, at least the FWD bZ4X works. ;)

  10. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    Thanks for doing the experiment and posting the results, Wayne. I think this is very relevant info that will be hard to get for most EV buyers shopping the bZ4X/Solterra. I never would have thought there would be such a difference between the bZ4X 2wd/awd and how the Solterra would be at a disadvantage by not having the 2WD version.

    The per minute charging fee you paid still works out to be less costly than my home electricity rates. I'm now at about $0.30/kWh with wild fluctuations. I also have not had any billing details from a new power purchase agreement. This may take a few months to see how the community solar shares work.

    I got a reminder of how painful on-the-road charging can be for my Crosstrek Hybrid (same charging as the Prius Prime at 3.3 kW onboard charger). I was at a free Chargepoint charger near the facility where my wife had a medical appointment, and could only manage 40 minutes charging before I had to disconnect. Not worth the time, or even the few miles traveled. I'm jealous of the 11 kW our friend over in England is enjoying with his Model 3 and public L2 charging.
  11. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    It does seem that Toyota doesn't have their heart invested in BEVs. They invented , or at least perfected hybrids.
    Hybrids are profitable for them. I bought one. I can't imagine buying a car other than a Toyota hybrid , except maybe
    for a Toyota PHEV. My strategy would be to wait five years until battery technology has matured ( solid-state?) and then
    walk into that party with both guns blazing ( figuratively ). On the other hand , waiting could force them to license the tech from someone else ,
    and that could be embarrassing.
    Janice Cooper, xcel and BillLin like this.
  12. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    Here is the 2023 Toyota bZ4X Limited FWD Charging Profile.


    BillLin likes this.
  13. Trollbait

    Trollbait Well-Known Member

    The bottle neck for the fast charging seems to be the DC-DC converter. The one between the battery and motor pulls double duty, and is used in DC charging. When the the AWD models swap the FWD motor for a less powerful one, they also swap that DC-DC converter. If this is the case, the Lexus AWD sibling should have a charge rate comparable to the bZ4X FWD.
    A Lexus spokes person has stated these BEVs were designed for the Chinese market. Which could mean Toyota is still thinking in terms of compliance cars. Yeah, it is the biggest EV market, but it is also the one most likely to actually go through with banning a company from it if they don't sell BEVs.

    When it finally arrives, solid state will be expensive. Add the strong possibility that it can't be manufacturer on all the cell lines being built for Li-ion chemistries, and it will remain more costly for some time. Cost and limited production is part of the (main?) reason Toyota will be putting them into hybrids first.

    Li-ion for EVs is a mature technology. As is the LFP subset. Hybrids have been using them from before plug ins arrived on the market. These are the chemistries the majority of EVs will be using for some time.
  14. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    While in Plano at Toyota's Confidential HQ event last week, I did confirm that the all-new AWD RZ - based directly on the bZ4X will include the FWD's 71.4 KWh Panasonic traction battery - ~ 60 KWh useable, and 150KW charging capability.

    2023 Lexus RZ

    Notice how there is no cladding running up and into the headlamps? ;)

  15. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    I am not entirely sure if there is a supply problem or demand is nowhere near what Toyota had expected with regards to the bZ4X sales YTD but they are not looking good. Toyota wanted to sell 7,000 this year and had a S**tload of pre-orders for MSRP or MSRP plus if the dealer wanted to F*** over the Toyota BEV early adopter.

    2023 AWD Toyota bZ4X Limited

    Supersonic Red is a great color but black hides the overabundance of upfront cladding.​

    Remember, the AWD has the "out there" exterior design, far to short of range at 222 miles in AWD Limited trim, and a very uncompetitive 100 KW max charging capability with the Chinese CATL Li-Ion traction battery. The $48,780 MSRP + 1,215 D&H are not bad with the quickly ending $7,500 Fed Tax Credit sunset beginning this October.

    The 252-mile range, $42,000 FWD bZ4X in XLE trim still makes sense to me since it means a price of $34,500 + TTL - approximately half the price of a Model Y, but sales show it is not moving either. The reason I mention the FWD is that takes the battery and charging negatives away for the most part.
    Here are the bZ4X first half results...

    June 2022 sales of 33 vehicles. 2022 YTD sales of 232 do not spell overwhelming demand and I have no idea how they are going to reach 7,000 before year end?

    Janice Cooper and BillLin like this.
  16. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    I haven't regarded the bZ4X as an available model. Currently seeing only 44 listed in a car app. And what about the recall of some cars that had incorrectly torqued wheel hubs? Surely that put a damper on sales. The tax incentives fading away will further erode sales unless Toyota does some price actions to move EVs. GM (Chevrolet) has lowered prices to compete. One can also pay a little more and get the faster charging and more available Hyundai/Kia siblings.

    I don't like car shopping very much right now... I'll have to hold a while till things change substantially. Of course, there's no guarantee things will improve.
    Janice Cooper and xcel like this.
  17. Trollbait

    Trollbait Well-Known Member

    The wheel issue resulted in a stop sale order. It doesn't seem to anything to do with the hubs. Seems Toyota went from using wheel(lug) nuts to wheel bolts like some Euro brands with the bZ4X. The phrasing in early reports was confusing. I admit to not knowing wheel bolts where a thing until this news, so was thinking the report was referring to the hub.
    Janice Cooper, xcel and BillLin like this.
  18. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    I was speaking to a neighbor here in Brentwood, TN, just south of Nashville, this morning and he had preordered the bZ4X. With the wheel/hub problem, his allocation went from weeks to unknown so he purchased a fully loaded RAV4 HEV XSE instead. His wife also drives a RAV4 HEV Limited so it was an easy choice. He said he got hit with a $5k over sticker markup which he was not happy with but was coming off a lease of his previous ride and was out of time.

    BillLin likes this.
  19. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    Ouch! Those are definitely not the right conditions for car purchase. I feel bad for your neighbor.
    xcel likes this.
  20. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    Here is that bZ4X recall notice posted in the middle of last month...

    Toyota is conducting a safety recall involving 2023 bZ4Xs

    Toyota is conducting a safety recall involving 2023 model year bZ4X vehicles in the U.S. Approximately 260 vehicles were involved.

    With few miles accumulated, all of the hub bolts on the wheel can loosen to the point where the wheel can detach from the vehicle. If a wheel detaches from the vehicle while driving, your are F'ed in no uncertain terms. The cause of the issue under which this issue could occur is still under investigation.

    No one should drive these vehicles until the yet to be issued remedy is performed.

    No remedy is available at this time. Until the remedy is available, any authorized Toyota dealer will pick up the vehicle and provide a loaner vehicle FREE OF CHARGE to the owner.

    Owners of involved vehicles will be notified through a number of communication channels starting on June 23, 2022.
    BillLin likes this.

Share This Page