Cheaper EVs are on the way. Toyota’s new Urban electric SUV Concept will challenge the affordable Volvo EX30 as the brand’s cheapest EV yet.
Toyota’s Urban electric SUV to rival low-cost EV market
On Monday, Toyota unveiled the Urban electric SUV concept at its annual Kenshiki forum in Brussels.
The concept is one of five new electric models due out in Europe by 2026. Toyota said the Urban SUV concept is a “close-to-production” design for a new EV launching next year.
It draws inspiration from the Toyota Yaris Cross, a top-seller in its segment. Despite its compact size, the crossover SUV features a bold “no compromise” design with strong wheel arches and a tall stance.
When it launches, Toyota’s Urban electric SUV will be available in front-wheel and all-wheel drive.
Toyota claims to have maximized the interior space to provide flexible space for passengers or cargo rooms.
Customers will be able to choose from two battery options. One will be aimed at affordability, and the other will offer more range.
Although Toyota has yet to provide details, it plans to introduce next-gen batteries for EVs beyond 2026. The company aims to increase the range by 20% while slashing costs by 40% compared to the current bZ4X.
At 4,300 mm (169″) long, 1,820 mm (72″) wide, and 1,620 mm (64″) tall, Toyota’s Urban electric SUV will directly compete with Volvo’s new EX30 (L – 166.7″, W – 72.3″, H – 61.2″).
Volvo expects the EX30 (see our review here), its smallest and cheapest EV, to make a big impact on sales.
Toyota Europe’s marketing director, Andrea Carlucci, hinted the EX30 would be a rival with a price tag of around €35,000 (~$38K).
The EX30 is offered in three powertrain options (€33,795 – €40,995) in Europe with up to 295.8 mi (combined) range. In the US, the electric SUV is available in two powertrains with up to 275 mi range.
Toyota will reveal more details on the new electric SUV in the first half of 2024. It will be the first new EV to join the bZ4X next year as Toyota looks to offer a diverse EV selection by 2026.
The new compact Urban electric SUV is one of several new EV concepts Toyota recently unveiled, including an Electric PickUp (EPU), Land Cruiser, and compact electric SUV.
Toyota has been vowing to cut battery costs for some time now. Will they be able to do so with a new compact electric SUV?
The automaker expects the new EV to compete in “what’s expected to become one of Europe’s biggest BEV market segments.” It will compete with new models like the Volvo EX30, Jeep Avenger, Hyundai Kona Electric, Kia Niro, and BYD’s Atto 3. All of which have relatively low starting price tags.
To compete, Toyota will need to drive down costs. Check back for more info on Toyota’s new Urban electric SUV concept as it gets closer to launch.