UMW Toyota to launch 2 EVs starting 2022 – Lexus UX 300e and Toyota bZ4X for Malaysia
Hans · Dec 2, 2021 08:00 PM
Now this is a big surprise - UMW Toyota Motor (UMWT) will be launching two EV models in Malaysia starting 2022, and by EV, we mean battery electric vehicle (BEV) type. This has been confirmed by reliable sources familiar with the matter.
UMWT’s first EV model will be launched in 2022, while another model will follow in 2023.
No further details were shared but Toyota / Lexus don’t have a lot of EV models on sale so it’s not difficult to guess the potential candidates for Malaysia.
The most obvious is of course the Lexus UX 300e, which is currently already on sale in Thailand and Indonesia.
Imported (CBU) from Japan, the fully electric, front-wheel drive Lexus UX 300e is powered by a 201 PS and 300 Nm motor. Power comes from a 54.3 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, which is good for a 300 km range on the WLTP cycle. It also supports up to 50 kW in DC fast charging.
The UX 300e sells in Thailand for THB 3,490,000 (about RM 435k), which is actually 4 percent cheaper than the hybrid UX 300h F Sport, but it’s still 40 percent more expensive than the entry UX 250h. Lexus Thailand does not sell any combustion engine-only variant of the UX. Except for the ageing RC, RX, and LS, all recent Lexus models sold there are electrified, so they all have either the 'h' or 'e' suffix in their names.
In Thailand, the Lexus UX 300e comes with a 10-year battery warranty.
In Indonesia, the UX 300e sells for IDR 1,245,000,000 (about RM 366k). The UX 300e is about 35 percent more expensive than the 2.0-litre naturally aspirated UX 200 F Sport.
In Malaysia, prices for the Lexus UX starts from RM 236,443 for the UX 200 Urban, stretching up to RM 290,335 for the most expensive UX 200 F Sport. Prices are inclusive of SST deductions (50 percent reduction for CBU passenger cars), valid until 30-June 2022.
Comparing prices in neighbouring countries to anticipate the selling price of the UX 300e in Malaysia is a little bit tricky because different countries have different tax structures for EVs.
Under the Japan-Thailand Free Trade Agreement (FTA), Japan-made electric cars in Thailand have a reduced import duty of 20 percent, but like Malaysia’s FTA with Japan (0 percent), this is subject to the vehicle meeting the Japan-sourced content requirement and the car manufacturer providing a detailed certificate of origin detailing each component, and we don’t know if Lexus Thailand has fulfilled this criteria. Else, the usual 80 percent import duty applies.
For excise tax, EVs like the UX 300e in Thailand pay just 2 percent.
As for Indonesia, the UX 300e’s price mentioned above is inclusive of Luxury Car Tax exemptions for EVs. It still needs to pay import duty though.
How much will the Lexus UX 300e be in Malaysia?
Assuming that Malaysia’s Budget 2022’s proposal for zero import tax and zero excise tax are gazetted, we expect Lexus Malaysia’s UX 300e to be priced over to RM 250k, but below RM 300k. This is assuming that the EV variant has a 30 percent higher landed cost than the most expensive non-electrified UX 200 F Sport variant (priced at RM 191,183 in Langkawi).
When it is launched next year, the UX 300e will compete against the Volvo XC40 Recharge P8, which will also be launched in Malaysia next year.
Next on the list of UMWT’s EV launch should be the Toyota bZ4X, which had just made its global debut in October.
The first of Toyota’s bZ (beyond Zero) series of vehicles, the bZ4X is Toyota’s first EV built on a dedicated e-TNGA platform, jointly developed with Subaru. Its Subaru twin is the Subaru Solterra.
It packs a 71.4 kWh battery placed flat under the floor and supports a maximum DC fast charging rate of up to 150 kW – which is very high – allowing it to charge to 80% in 30 minutes.
And since this is not a Tesla but a Toyota, you know it will be properly built, and built to last.
With it, Toyota, the slow mover in EVs, is the world's only manufacturer to understand on a particle level, exactly how ions flow inside a battery and how the electrolytes inside break down, and from there, how to make solid state batteries reliable and cheaper.
By gaining knowledge on an atomic level of how batteries break down under repeated charging/discharging cycles, Toyota says it is able to maintain control over battery quality and to stay on top of Panasonic and CATL, its two main battery suppliers.
Toyota is targeting to achieve a top-class battery capacity retention ratio of 90 percent after 10 years / 240,000 km of use, they keyword ‘targeting’ because Toyota is conservative that way as the model will only go into production in 2022.
Globally, there will be two variants of the bZ4X on offer. The front-wheel drive (FWD) variant makes 204 PS while the all-wheel drive (AWD) variant has a combined output (two motors, one on each end) of 218 PS. Driving range for the FWD variant in the WLTP cycle is 500 km while the AWD variant gets 460 km.
The FWD bZ4X does the century sprint in 8.4 seconds, the AWD variant trims the time down to 7.7 seconds.
There’s also a fighter-jet style steering wheel but for more traditional-minded customers, a regular circle-type steering wheel is still available.
Deliveries will begin starting May 2022, so we expect the Toyota bZ4X to be launched in Malaysia in 2023.
The Toyota bZ4X measures 4,690 mm long, 1,860 mm wide, and 1,650 mm tall (including antenna) – about the size of a Toyota RAV4, but its 2,850 mm long wheelbase means that its interior cabin space is far bigger, matching a Klugger!
How much will the Toyota bZ4X be in Malaysia?
Prices of the Toyota bZ4X have yet to be announced but it will certainly be a lot higher than a Toyota Camry, which is now priced at RM 188,763 but remember that without tax - which imported EVs in Malaysia will enjoy until 2023 ends (subject to Parliament approving the proposed tax incentives) - the Camry is priced at just RM 123,152 in tax-free Langkawi, so it’s quite possible for the Toyota bZ4X to be priced at around RM 150k – RM 200k.