Toyota Launches Budget Electric Car Brand in China


Toyota Ranz Budget Electric Car

Despite offering very few “pure” EVs, Toyota are world leaders in hybrid and battery technology. As such, it was only a matter of time before they entered the EV market in a big way, and they’re doing that now with this Ranz EV, which is set to launch a new budget brand of electric cars in Asia.

Based on the previous Toyota Corolla EX model, the Ranz is meant to be part of a sub-brand of the FAW-Toyota joint venture (similar to the Scion brand of Toyota-Subaru joint ventures here in the US) that’s focused on making cheap electric cars. Power is expected to come from a 95 hp electric motor that’s good for a Chinese government-approved 74 mph (120 km/h) top speed. Range wasn’t mentioned at the show, but I’d expect something in the 100 km range from a budget model like this- more or less on par with Mitsubishi’s iMiEV.

The first examples of Toyota’s new Ranz branded electric cars is expected to go on sale in Shanghai this April- a region that’s pushing hard for electric and hybrid cars in a bid to curb its horrible pollution problems. Pricing is expected to be somewhere in the 90,800 – 113,800 yuan range (about $18,000 on the high side, which is way low for the Chinese market). No word, yet, on whether the cars will be available for the general public or if they’ll be reserved for a select group of “test case” drivers.

In other words: some animals are more equal than others.


Toyota Ranz Budget Electric Car

Toyota Ranz Budget Electric Car

Toyota Ranz Budget Electric Car

Toyota Ranz Budget Electric Car

Source | Photos: Car News China, via Motorpasion.

About the Author

I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.
  • topkill

    Now THAT is a big announcement. It’s only a matter of time before Toyota jumps big time into the EV market globally. This means it’s sooner than we were expecting.

    • Agree 100%. The big issue for American buyers is that Toyota is building its economies of scale in Asia, where people will pay a premium, so it can bring a lower cost EV to the competitive US market.

      • topkill

        Yes, I’m not sure what I think about them doing this in China first. I mean clearly it’s a huge market and will be the largest in the world. But how long before they bring it to the US and Europe and what led them to start in China? Interesting questions.

        • Bob_Wallace

          The Chinese government is pushing EVs. That’s part of their plan to help clean up the air in cities.

          Plus EVs can suck up wind supply peaks which helps integrate wind onto the grid. And China has just started an incredible push on wind.

          “China has embarked on the greatest push for renewable energy the world has ever seen.

          A key element involves more than doubling the number of wind turbines in the next six years.

          Already the world’s largest producer of wind power, China plans further massive increases.

          From a current installed capacity of 75 gigawatts (GW), the aim is to achieve a staggering 200GW by 2020.”