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The Toyota bZ4X is a compact crossover SUV that marks Toyota's ambitious foray into the electric vehicle market, serving as the first in their "beyond Zero" (bZ) series aimed at achieving zero emissions. Manufactured in collaboration with Subaru - under which it's also sold as the Subaru Solterra - the bZ4X was introduced in April 2022 and is built on the e-TNGA platform co-developed by the two automakers. Powering the vehicle is a front-wheel drive or dual-motor all-wheel drive system, offering power outputs between 201 to 218 hp. It comes equipped with a lithium-ion battery that provides a range of 286 to 329 miles, depending on the configuration. Despite its technologically advanced features, including steer-by-wire systems and a spacious interior, the vehicle has received mixed reviews for its range and performance. Toyota plans to expand this initiative with seven more "bZ" models by 2025, making the bZ4X a harbinger of the brand's electric future.
The Toyota bZ4X features a limitation on its DC fast charging speeds after two such charges in a day. After the vehicle reaches an 80% State of Charge (SOC), its charging speed reduces notably, with the last 20% particularly slow, making Level 2 AC chargers more efficient for this segment. Though a decrease in charging speed post an 80% SOC is typical in electric vehicles for battery preservation, the bZ4X exhibits a distinct deceleration beyond 90%. The vehicle can achieve a charging rate from 8% to 80% SOC in about 34 minutes. Different battery types, such as those in the FWD bZ4X, might display varied charging behaviors, with certain models utilizing Panasonic batteries. Concerning battery temperature management, especially in cooler climates, infrequent charging can cause the battery to remain cold, potentially diminishing its performance. The vehicle's manual indicates a feature elevating the battery temperature when connected to a charger, but this stops functioning after three days or if unplugged, which might lead to inconsistent performance. After the second fast charge within a day, any subsequent fast charging in the next 24 hours undergoes a substantial speed drop. In the case of the US AWD battery, this translates to around 110-120 KWh or close to 500 miles from a full charge, with the charging speed plummeting to roughly 13 kW, equivalent to adding only 35-40 miles of range per hour. This restriction seems to refresh after 24 hours.
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