Update: Toyota has reached out to let us know that they have corrected and revised the wording in the disclaimer regarding charging for the bZ4X AWD:
“For the bZ4X AWD model, charging may slow down more than other models in weather conditions below 32 degrees Fahrenheit and may not be possible when the temperature drops to around -4 degrees Fahrenheit and below.”
While a little clearer, this still leaves us thinking that DC charging will remain a serious challenge in winter. We’ve experienced 50% and more charging speed drops with ambient temperatures hovering around -10 degrees Celsius, or 15 degrees Fahrenheit, with other EVs in the past. Where will that leave the bZ4X AWD with its 100 kW charging speed “that may slow down more than others” at temperatures below freezing?
That’s right: DC charging might not work below 0 degrees Celsius or 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
This is a significant problem for a huge portion of potential buyers.
We up here in the greater Montreal area, where more than 4.25 million people live, are a market hungry for EVs. In fact, the province of Quebec, home to over 8.15 million people, happens to be one of the strongest EV markets in North America. And the news that the Toyota bZ4X AWD may fail to charge below freezing has all but killed it.
Toyota shared a “Five Things to Know About the All-Electric Toyota bZ4X” last week and we must say we’re a little shocked to see what is near the bottom of the release. The paragraph refers to charging times which, as we can, can, and will vary based on ambient temperature. But this is the sentence that is, as stated, shocking:
“DC charging may not work on AWD bz4x when the temperature is below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.”
The fact that Toyota specifies that this applies only to the AWD dual-motor version is what strikes us as almost silly. This very model is the one most likely to be selected by we Northerners (and people who live in Colorado, Northern California, New York, and so on) would select and yet, it’s the one that, on a cold day, on a trip to grandma’s for the Holidays, may leave us stranded.