Toyota trademarks BZ name and logo in Europe, likely previewing a sub-brand for its electric models.
The Japanese automaker plans to bring two battery-electric models to the U.S. later this year, expected to be a RAV4-sized crossover and a Camry-sized sedan.
Toyota has stayed out of the EV game until very recently, mindful of the demand for gas-engined cars in many overseas markets.
Toyota has trademarked the BZ name expected to be used for its battery-electric models, according to BZ Forums. The filings for the name and logo were recently discovered in the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), with the BZ initials intended to stand for Beyond Zero. Toyota has two electric models slated for release later this year, neither of which has had much information revealed yet.
BZ Forums suggests that the name and logo will be applied to Toyotas models in a manner that will see EVs badged as the BZ1 and BZ1X, all the way through BZ5 and BZ5X. This could mean there will eventually be five BZ models in the near future, with X perhaps denoting a dual-motor all-wheel-drive layout. It remains to be seen whether the numbers will denote size or simply the order of appearance.
In a way, BZ could mirror Volkswagen's ID sub-brand, acting as a model name prefix while also serving in a branding role for the automaker's electric car efforts, but without going the standalone route like Scion. We've already seen this trend among several other automakers including Mercedes-Benz with its EQ lineup, BMW with its i division, and Audi with e-tron. Volvo has done both, carving out Polestar as an EV brand using the name of its once-outside tuner and racing arm, while also offering EVs under the Volvo brand, as in the case of the Volvo XC40 Recharge.
Just what models could we see with this name?
Toyota has indicated on several occasions that one of the first battery-electric models would be a RAV4-sized vehicle, while the other is likely to be a Camry-sized sedan. The automaker has shared images of a future EV lineup could look like, and has also firmly said that it will offer two EVs in the U.S. in 2021.
Lexus won't be without EVs for long, having laid out its electrification strategy for the next decade just a few days ago along with the LF-Z concept. Toyota's luxury division plans to introduce 10 electric and electrified models by 2025, including an electric version of each model it offers.
Think there's more behind the BZ logo? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.