Hotai Motor Co (和泰汽車), which distributes Toyota and Lexus vehicles in Taiwan, yesterday introduced Toyota Motor Corp’s first all-electric sports utility vehicle (SUV), the bZ4X, joining rivals in vying for a share of the nation’s fast-growing electric vehicle market.
Starting today, the bZ4X, with a price tag of NT$1.599 million (US$53,780), would be available for online purchase only and customers need to download a special app to place orders, Hotai said.
Hotai has received 300 of the electric SUVs, it said, adding that it is not enough to meet robust market demand.
Photo: Amy Yang, Taipei Times
A total of 229 electric vehicles were sold in the nation last month alone, led by BMW AG models distributed by Pan German Universal Motors Ltd (汎德永業).
Hotai expects sales of new electric vehicles to nearly double to 13,000 units this year, from 6,982 units last year. That means new electric vehicle sales would account for 2.8 percent of forecast overall new vehicle sales of 460,000 units.
“Taiwan’s electric vehicle market entered a rapid growth phase in 2019,” Hotai president Justin Su (蘇純興) told a news conference in Taipei yesterday. “In 2025, electric vehicle sales will reach 22,000 units, making up about 5 percent of overall new car sales.”
Taiwan plans to ban sales of new gasoline-fueled vehicles by 2040, as it aims to become carbon neutral by 2050.
The bZ4X is the first model from Toyota’s 30-strong EV lineup that it plans to build by 2030. Its batteries can go from a low state of charge to 80 percent full in 30 minutes.
More than 150 electric charging piles, including fast-charging and regular types, are available for car owners to charge their vehicles, Hotai said.
The piles were built by Hotai and its partner Fortune Electric Co (華城電機).
Hotai reported a net profit of NT$4.29 billion for the first three months of this year, down about 14 percent from NT$5 billion a year earlier. Earnings per share dropped to NT$7.86 last quarter, from NT$9.16 a year earlier.
Hotai said that an ongoing semiconductor shortage has curbed sales of Lexus and some Toyota models imported from Japan.
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