Toyota's bZ4X, its first fully electric vehicle, heading to New Zealand in 2022

Toyta bZ4X fully electric vehicle
The SUV is due to have an expected range of more than 450km on a full battery. Photo credit: Supplied

Earlier this year Toyota announced a concept car that was to be the first of seven 'beyond Zero' fully electric vehicles (EVs) the company is due to launch by mid-decade.

The Japanese car company has now pushed even further and unveiled the production model of the bZ4X.

Toyota New Zealand has confirmed it is already planning the introduction of the bZ4X in Aotearoa, with the first vehicles due to arrive here at the end of 2022.

The new car was co-developed by Subaru and Toyota and features the battery as part of the chassis underneath the vehicle's floor.

This will give it a low centre of gravity, meaning good handling and better weight balance across the car.

Neeraj Lala, Toyota NZ's chief executive, said the new car is an exciting step towards the company's low carbon objectives.

"The bZ4X is the catalyst for an avalanche of new, exciting fully electric products under the bZ series over the next five years," Lala said.

"Hybrid electric vehicles have proven to be the best transitionary low emission vehicle to bridge the gap while availability and affordability of battery electric vehicles increase."

The bZ4x is a SUV with an expected range of more than 450km on a fully charged battery, although this has still to be confirmed by testing.

The company says the battery will operate at 90 percent of its original performance after 10 years of driving or 240,000 km, whichever is shorter.

Fast charging will also be supported, with a 150kW charger able to juice the car battery to 80 percent full in 30 minutes.

The FWD version will produce 201bhp from its electric motor, with a top speed of around 160km/h and will accelerate to 100km/h in 8.4 seconds.

The AWD version gets more power, at nearly 215bhp and will hit 100km/h in 7.7 seconds.

The Toyota bZ4X's steering yoke
Photo credit: Supplied

The five-seater will have advanced technology features, including a solar panel roof to help charge the battery while driving or parked and new and improved active safety and driver assistance systems.

Drivers will also be able to opt for a 'wing-shaped' yoke steering system instead of a standard wheel.

It uses a steer-by-wire system, so there is no mechanical connection between the yoke and the car's tyres.

From one side's lock to the other, the yoke only moves around 150 degrees, which the company says eliminates the need to change grips when steering, greatly reducing the burden on the driver for U-turn, garage parking and on winding roads.

It will also block unnecessary vibrations from the tyres, only transmitting the necessary vibrations for the driver to understand the road conditions.

The price of the car in Aotearoa has yet to be announced.