Toyota shows off a pair of EVs leading its charge in China

In a further sign that Toyota is ramping up its electric plans, the company has revealed a pair of concepts at the Shanghai Auto Show. And it has already confirmed that each will reach production next year. These likely aren’t destined for the U.S., though, since they’re being co-developed with Chinese automakers that Toyota has partnered with.

The first and most interesting is pictured at top. It’s called the bZ Sport Crossover Concept, and it’s a sort of lifted sedan or liftback. It also sports the sporty bracket-shaped headlight design of other bZ concepts, along with the new Prius. It also looks like there’s a lidar sensor just above the windshield. Inside, the design is very much like that of the bZ Compact SUV concept shown in the U.S. The dash is ultra minimal, with a pair of sharp-cornered screens for instruments and infotainment. 

Toyota’s official statement about the bZ Sport Crossover, which is being developed with BYD, is as follows: “The concept of this model is “Reboot,” which incorporates the idea of a change of pace the moment you get in and drive around. In addition to its active, iconic styling, it has been designed with functions to provide a personal space for the younger customers, or Generation Z.”

The second concept is the bZ FreeSpace, shown above. This one is much more about practicality what with its tall, boxy shape. But it does still have the pointy, sleek nose of other bZ models. The surface details are also more organic and soft, in contrast to the sharp creases of the Sport Crossover.

The FreeSpace is going to be co-developed with GAC, and Toyota says this concept’s theme is “‘Cozy Home,’ to create a space that families can use safely, comfortably, and freely with peace of mind.”

As previously mentioned, we don’t expect these Toyotas to appear in the U.S., since they’re clearly being designed for the Chinese market, and partly by Chinese automakers. They do represent a significant electric push in China for Toyota. Both will go on sale there in 2024, and there are apparently eight additional EVs headed to China by 2026.

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