Toyota has officially hinted at the development of a new three-row battery electric SUV destined for the US market. The revelation came alongside the announcement of a substantial $1.3 billion investment in its Kentucky facility, earmarked for various EV initiatives, including the production of the upcoming SUV and a battery pack assembly line.
“Our commitment to vehicle electrification and further reinvesting in our U.S. operations is reflected in this latest investment,” stated a Toyota spokesperson.
While this marks the first official acknowledgment of Toyota's foray into the electric SUV segment, earlier speculation fueled by trademarks registered at the European Union Intellectual Property Office and industry rumors had hinted at the possibility of seven-seat SUVs under the Toyota, Lexus, and Subaru banners. Reports suggest that the forthcoming model may be dubbed the bZ5X, adhering to the nomenclature of Toyota's existing bZ4X. It is slated to follow Subaru's own electric SUV, which shares the same platform.
Although production of the electric SUVs at the Kentucky facility is projected to commence in 2025, Toyota has provided no further details regarding the specifications or features of its upcoming EV. The vehicle is anticipated to compete with recently launched electric SUVs such as the Kia EV9.
The latest investment underscores Toyota's commitment to vehicle electrification and its ongoing reinvestment in US operations. Since 2021, the company has injected a total of $17 billion into its US operations to support electrification efforts.