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What if Toyota ends up being the first to launch an affordable electric SUV?

Among the world’s largest automakers, Toyota It has been one of the last to present a roadmap where battery electric cars are the main protagonists. Last December Toyota broke the deck announcing 30 new electric models for the next few years, among which was a small electric SUV. Now rumors arrive from Japan in which there is talk of an electric Toyota C-HR, are we finally facing an affordable electric SUV?

The purchase price remains the main obstacle to buying an electric car. If we add to this the increase in the price of new cars in recent months (both electric and non-electric) as a result of the current world economic situation, we find that having really affordable electric cars is a possibility that is receding again. As if that were not enough, manufacturers -in general- prioritize electric models of more expensive segments, which have higher profit margins, to make the investments made profitable.

In the electric car race there is a subcategory of great interest to the general public: the affordable electric car. And more specifically, that of an affordable electric SUV or one with an adjusted price (we cannot forget that SUVs are the bodywork with the greatest demand on the market). Just a couple of years ago nobody would have said it, but Toyota could be the first to have a reasonably priced battery-powered SUV. An electric Toyota C-HR that replicates the success (or tries to, at least) of the current C-HR Hybrid.

And it is that the japanese local press has once again put the focus on a possible fully electric Toyota C-HR for the next generation of the model. The current C-HR was launched on the market in 2016 and received an update in 2020. For 2023 the launch of the new generation of the Toyota C-HR is planned, which will continue to rely on a Dynamic Force hybrid system for its drive. But in Japan there is already talk of the electric C-HR, which would be based on the Toyota Small SU EV presented in December, a model that could bear the name of Toyota bZ2X. However, the electric version would come later, probably not before 2024.

At that time Toyota said that the SU EV would be the most compact SUV in its range, a battery electric designed for Europe and Japan. Given the size of the vehicle, which does not allow a huge capacity battery to be installed, the Japanese firm stressed that would focus on increasing efficiency of the vehicle, aiming at an ambitious goal: a consumption of only 12.5 kWh per 100 kilometers. A really low figure but feasible to achieve, especially after seeing the efficiency achieved in the Toyota bZ4X. Thus, the objective is to increase efficiency so as not to depend on a large battery. And the fact of having a smaller battery means having a lighter car and also cheaper.

The C-HR is the brand’s second best-selling model in Spain, only behind the Corolla, and its fourth best-selling model in Europe, after the Yaris, RAV4 and Corolla. Last year, 114,737 units of the Toyota C-HR were sold in Europe, which places the model as one of the best-selling hybrid SUVs on the continent. The arrival of a fully electric version could mean the landing of a popular ‘zero emissions’ alternative for the general public, although at the moment Toyota has not made an official statement.

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