Many traditional automotive manufacturers have tried to overtake Tesla, but none of them have ever come close in terms of range, longevity, performance, and price. Even Volkswagen and Mercedes, two of the largest and best-funded manufacturers out there, have fallen well short of the mark. Yet, this might not be the case for Toyota, as their upcoming bZ3 seems to absolutely trounce everything Tesla has put into production thus far. So, should Musk be worried?

The bZ3 is Toyota’s direct competitor to the Model 3 Long Range. It shares the small sedan body style, with similar internal space and even a similar driving range. But that is where the similarities end, as everything else about the bZ3 seems to exist in another league.

Take the bZ3’s battery, for example. Toyota has done a very typical Toyota thing here and heavily prioritised safety, reliability, and longevity. As such, they have opted to use BYD’s revolutionary LiFePO4 blade cell batteries. This battery chemistry is far cheaper and safer than the lithium-ion chemistry used by Tesla’s LG M50 cells. BYD has also used this chemistry to significantly extend the longevity of these cells.

This is why the bZ3 is rated as only having 10% battery degradation after ten years of normal operation, while the Model 3 is rated as having 30% degradation after eight years of normal operation. Such longevity will make buying cheap second-hand EVs possible, and it will also make the bZ3 a really tantalising alternative to the Model 3 for domestic and commercial use, including taxis.

It doesn’t just stop at longevity, though, as the bZ3 is also astonishingly efficient. It has a drag coefficient of 0.218 compared to the Tesla’s 0.23, making it a great deal more aerodynamic. This is why, despite having a battery pack 10 kWh smaller, the bZ3 has a range of 372 miles while the Model 3 has a range of 340. Though these aren’t direct comparisons, given they are calculated using different methods, the bZ3 will almost certainly travel further per charge in the real world.

While there is no word yet from Toyota regarding the bZ3’s charge time, we can guesstimate it based upon other vehicles that use the BYD Blade Battery, which is rated for 10%–80% charge in 30 minutes. If the bZ3 follows this trend, then it should be able to match the Model 3’s charge time, give or take a few minutes.