Electric Cars

Toyota's first EVs in China are a C-HR… and another C-HR

The C-HR and Izoa are technically the same car, just manufactured by different joint ventures.

Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

Some automakers start offering electric vehicles in larger sizes, while others start out with compacts. For Toyota in China, it's taking the latter approach with a pair of crossovers that are more like identical twins.

Toyota on Tuesday introduced the C-HR and Izoa battery-electric SUVs at the Shanghai Motor Show. This pair of vehicles will be the first Toyota-branded EVs in China. If you're wondering why the same car has two different names, it's because Toyota operates multiple joint ventures in China. GAC Toyota calls it the C-HR, while FAW Toyota calls it the Izoa.

The aesthetic differences aren't too subtle, with the C-HR and Izoa losing their traditional grilles in favor of a closed-off bumper with some aggressive air intake designs on either side. Otherwise, it's the same plucky EV we're all familiar with.

The interior isn't that much different either. The shifter is different than what we get in the US, and there's a digital gauge cluster, but otherwise, same ol' same ol'.

Toyota didn't offer up any specifications for the electric C-HR and Izoa, so we have no idea how big the battery is, what sort of range is on offer or how much torque it puts out. All we know is that it rides on the same Toyota New Global Architecture as other new Toyota models, like the Camry and Corolla. Toyota will undoubtedly drop some details ahead of the crossovers' on-sale date in 2020.

Perhaps there's something to take away from this release, however, in terms of the US market. If Toyota can shove an electric powertrain, however small, into the C-HR's TNGA platform, there's a chance that Toyota could also make electric vehicles out of other TNGA cars, like the RAV4 or Corolla. There's no guarantee that will happen, and Toyota has hedged its bets and focused on hybrids over EVs even in recent years, but it's an interesting thought experiment.

A little ambient lighting never hurts.

Toyota