Toyota Prius Will Be First To Get 'Beyond Zero' Badge

When the Toyota Prius arrives in U.S. dealerships in January, it will be the automaker’s first U.S. model to feature the Beyond Zero badge introduced globally earlier this year.

The vehicle will not say “Beyond Zero,” but instead will feature the blue badge along with HEV since it is a Hybrid Electric Vehicle.

The use of Toyota's green vehicles like Prius, now entering its 25th year, have prevented over 82 million tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere over the last few decades, says Lisa Materazzo, group vice president of Toyota Division marketing at Toyota Motor North America.

“They've also helped promote a viable alternative to traditional gasoline and diesel engines,” Materazzo says. 

When you include hybrid, plug-in hybrid, battery electric, and fuel cell technology, Toyota offers 13 electrified vehicles in the United States, soon to be 14 with the introduction of the Toyota Crown arriving early next year.



“With all of those technologies to choose from, we forecast a 40% electrified vehicle mix (in the U.S.) by 2025,” Materazzo says. 

The Beyond Zero message, which was developed by Toyota Motor Corp. to be used globally, “encourages diligently adapting how we live our lives in the present to ensure a better future for all,” according to the automaker. 

“I think it helps us specifically because we have a slightly different approach to electrification,” Materazzo tells Marketing Daily. “So where some of our competitors are betting 100% on BEVs, we have a portfolio approach. So it's a great way for us to signal the vehicles in our lineup that speak directly to that commitment to carbon neutrality.”

Not every customer is ready to commit to a battery electric vehicle, she says. 

“We spend a lot of time listening to the voice of the customer -- that's our North Star,” Materazzo says. "And we know that people are in different places when it comes to electrification. So you definitely have those who want the 100% BEV. They have a household fleet situation where perhaps that's just easier to integrate. They have multiple vehicles in the household, and can easily install a charger where they live. That's great.

“But someone else, maybe they're living in an apartment complex, maybe they have a long commute, maybe they don't want to change their driving behavior or their lifestyle patterns. They don't need to. With a hybrid vehicle or even a plug-in hybrid, if you can plug it in, fine, if you can't, that's fine as well. So I really do feel like our portfolio approach is the right one, from what we're hearing from consumers now.”

Beyond Zero can also be abbreviated to “bZ.” Toyota is using the prefix bZ as the name of its new electric car sub-brand, which currently includes the bZ4X crossover. The automaker recently unveiled its bZ compact SUV concept in U.S. which also features the Beyond Zero badge along with BEV since it is a battery electric vehicle.

Toyota plans to continue to educate consumers about what it’s like to own an EV, an effort it started earlier this year with a campaign themed “Easy bZ,” playing off the vehicle's alpha-numeric name.

Its goal is to assure consumers that owning an electric vehicle isn’t a hassle, she says.

“It was a very relatable message and did what we intended it to do -- tell a story of how easy the BZ shopping, buying, ownership experience is. And especially, when it comes to electrification, educating the broader population about what it means to own a battery electric vehicle,” Materazzo says. “It was important we get that message out there in a very compelling way.” 

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