Toyota’s first all-electric car, the bZ4X, is set to launch in North America this spring. That might be convenient timing as owners won’t find out about a potential pitfall of the electric SUV until winter rolls around several months later.
In a recent press release titled “Five Things to Know About the All-Electric Toyota bZ4X,” the Japanese automaker talks about several aspects of their new EV, like its style and performance.
However under the section talking about its charging capabilities, there is a small but extremely important footnote.
According to Toyota, the DC fast charging may not work when the temperature is below 0°C or 32°F. Even more interesting, the footnote specifies the all-wheel drive (AWD) variant only, and not the front-wheel drive (FWD) variant that is also available.
UPDATE: One day after publishing our story, Toyota updated the press release on May 10 to be a little more specific. It now states the bZ4X “may slow down” in temperatures below freezing, and that it may not work at all in temperatures to around or below -15°C or -4°F.
*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.
If true, that means the vast majority of owners in North America (and the rest of the world) will be forced to use Level 2 chargers for almost six months of the year.
That is an uninviting prospect when thinking of a road trip, or even daily driving, when you will have to plug in for as much as eleven hours instead of less than one to get a full charge.
The troublesome disclaimer was first spotted by Out of Spec’s Kyle Conner, who noted it may just be an extremely bad choice of words. Conner suggests that Toyota might have meant the EV will be able to use DC fast chargers, but will only draw power to warm up the battery before it starts charging, similar to what many other EVs do, including Tesla.
But as Conner also pointed out, that’s not what they said.
Drive Tesla has reached out to Toyota for clarification on the wording, but have not received a response at the time of publication. We will update this story when we get a response.