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Toyota Trademarks BZ Name, Could Use Moniker for Future EVs

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【Summary】The BZ name is just one of seven trademarks the Japanese automaker filed for, potentially creating a harmonious lineup of electric vehicles that use the “BZ” moniker.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Apr 19, 2021 7:00 AM PT
Toyota Trademarks BZ Name, Could Use Moniker for Future EVs

Toyota is one of the few automakers that hasn't embraced the electrified future yet. Despite having one of the more robust lineups of hybrids and plug-in hybrids, the automaker has stayed quiet on the all-electric front. That's expected to change in the future, as Toyota claimed that it had six new all-electric vehicles in the works that would be introduced from 2020 to 2025 a few years ago. Now, thanks to a patent Toyota recently filed, we have an idea of what those electric vehicles could be called.

Possible Name Structure Revealed

Trademarks usually give us a good idea of what an automaker has in store, as they have to gain the rights to a certain name or idea that it has in the pipeline before coming out with anything concrete. According to Car & Driver, Toyota recently filed patents for the "BZ" name. Apparently, that name stands for Beyond Zero, which highlights the automaker's plan to push for zero-emissions vehicles. Zero-emissions vehicles include electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell cars, like the Toyota Mirai.

Toyota, though, didn't just file one trademark for BZ. No, the Japanese automaker filed another seven patents for BZ1, BZ2, BZ2X, BZ3, BZ4, BZ4X, and BZ5. While there's no concrete information on how or why Toyota plans to use these names, the outlet decoded them in a way that makes sense. Lower numbers could refer to vehicle size – the smaller the number the smaller the vehicle – and even numbers may correlate to sedans, while odd numbers signify SUVs. Car and Driver believes that the "X" could signify EVs with all-wheel drive and dual-motor layouts, which would make sense.  

Why The Names Make Sense

We've seen other automakers follow similar naming structures, including Kia and Hyundai's IONIQ sub brand. For IONIQ, the automaker will sell the IONIQ 5, IONIQ 6, and IONIQ 7. The 5 and 7 will be SUVs, while the 6 will be a sedan. These kinds of naming structures are easy for consumers to follow and make logical sense.

While there's not much real information to get from the patents, they reveal that Toyota could have as many as five different electric vehicles or zero-emission vehicles living under the same family in the future. The filling for the BZ4X has "Concept" in the name, which could mean that Toyota is working on bringing a concept of that vehicle to light soon.

From the teasers we saw earlier this month, Toyota's getting ready to come out with an all-electric SUV for China. It's possible that the SUV could make its way to the U.S. as part of the BZ family. The little that we do know about Toyota's upcoming EVs is that they'll ride on the brand's new e-TNGA platform that was co-developed with Subaru. The platform is modular, capable of housing an electric motor at the front, rear, or on both axles.

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