2020 Toyota C-HR Electric: Battery-Powered City Commuter Takes Aim at US, Chinese Markets

The electric crossover will first debut in China next year.

byJames Gilboy|
Electric Vehicles photo

Year, Make, Model: 2020 Toyota C-HR Electric

Topline: Toyota announced Tuesday at the kickoff of Auto Shanghai that an electric version of its C-HR crossover coupe will launch in China in 2020.

What's New: Nothing about its capabilities. Toyota shared no specifications for the electric C-HR or its China-only twin, the IZOA, built with another of Toyota's local partners. Both share a silhouette and, presumably, will have identical drivetrains, which should consist of an electric motor on the front axle, powered by floor-mounted batteries, as suggested by the models' first commercial. Based on the fact that the C-HR (and IZOA) are city vehicles, we speculate that these models will not exceed 200 miles of potential range.

We speculate that despite the above commercial showing the C-HR EV to be front-wheel-drive, this could end up being Toyota's chance to offer an all-wheel-drive version of the model in markets such as the United States, using its new electric rear axle as seen on the Prius AWD-E. Toyota has explained that the C-HR sold in the U.S. isn't compatible with AWD, and though the C-HR is sold abroad with AWD, that version is too slow to be attractive to American buyers.

2020 Toyota C-HR Electric.

, Toyota

What you Need to Know: Toyota states that the C-HR EV's Chinese market launch in 2020 will mark the start of a global rollout of 10 electric vehicles worldwide in the early 2020s, and confirmed to The Drive that the near-identical C-HR and IZOA EVs count as just one of said 10. There is also no word as of yet whether the C-HR EV will be sold abroad, and Toyota declined to discuss its plans for selling the C-HR EV outside China

By 2030, Toyota hopes to be selling 5.5 million electrified (hybrid, battery, or hydrogen fuel-cell) vehicles each year across the globe. It says the 13 million electrified vehicles that it has sold since the Prius' introduction in 1997 have reduced CO2 emissions by a cumulative 103 million tons.