Lexus plans to go all-electric by 2030
kazam
Nimit Arora

Toyota Motors made a commitment to sell electric vehicles. Since it shied away from putting a retirement date on internal combustion engine cars, it has committed its upscale Lexus brand to be all-electric by 2030 in US, Europe & China.

In its continued efforts to deliver innovative & luxurious experiences, Lexus unveiled its ‘Lexus Electrified’ vision for an upcoming generation of electric vehicles. Headlining this moment was the debut of the Lexus LF-30 Electrified Concept, which made its world premiere at the 46th Tokyo Motor Show. By 2025, Lexus will have electrified versions of all its vehicle models. By 2050, Lexus aims to achieve carbon neutrality throughout the lifecycle of its entire model lineup, from manufacturing of materials, parts & vehicles, to vehicle logistics, final disposal & recycling of older vehicles.

Lexus thinks the brand is well-positioned to take advantage of the market. Electric cars take up only 2.5-3% of the total car sales but have a 15% share in the luxury car market. So, Lexus is confident that they will be able to attract luxury car buyers, who initially will form the majority of purchasers of their electric cars.

Lexus has started working with its 243 US dealerships to determine what each will need in their individual markets to be able to sell their electric cars successfully. They are looking at registrations & sales volumes to forecast the number of chargers the showrooms will need. Lexus knows its major rival will be Tesla whose dealerships & charging network really takes care of its customers. Since Lexus has years of experience dealing with high-end customers, there are plans, through their dealerships, to set up home charging systems as part of the brand’s concierge-level of customer service.

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Lexus launched its first electric car at the Guangzhou Auto Expo in 2019. As the first model under the ‘Lexus Electrified’ banner, the all-electric ‘UX 300e’ went on sale in the Chinese & European markets in 2020 and in Japan & Australia in 2021.

In Australia, Lexus has gone all out with its customer service by offering 3 years of complimentary fast charging at any ChargeFox station. (ChargeFox is Australia’s largest EV charging network). Moreover, as part of its ‘Encore Platinum’ membership, an on-demand perk is being offered which allows Lexus UX 300e owners to borrow a Lexus car from dealerships across Australia whenever customers are flying to another city.

The brand’s first EV for the US will be ‘RZ 450e’ (details below).

In terms of future products, there are 4 electric cars wearing the Lexus badge in the pipeline. Lexus is mulling a range of electric cars across different body styles.. These will be manufactured in Japan and will arrive in US showrooms in late 2022 or early 2023. These are:

1. RZ 450e: A 5-seat crossover, which will compete with Tesla Model Y, Audi Q4 e-tron, Ford Mustang Mach-E & Nissan Ariya.

2. Electrified Sport: A 2-seater low-ride sports coupe, to compete with Tesla Model S Plaid, Porsche Taycan Turbo S & Rimac Nevera Hypercar.

3. Electrified Sedan: A premium five-seat sedan.

4. Electrified SUV: A 3-row SUV.

In the 2021 ‘Consumer Reports’ Auto Reliability Report, electric cars made their largest showing ever. Tesla came second from bottom, with the Models S, X & Y being criticized. The most commonly reported issue was ‘defective sensors’. Interestingly, Lexus was placed at the top spot in this reliability survey. Experts will look at this space carefully when Lexus launches its EV lineup in the US.

Lexus & India:

Lexus India’s portfolio consists almost entirely of hybrid cars. India became the fourth country to produce Lexus cars locally. The immediate focus in India continues to be on hybrid cars, but the Indian chapter is constantly evaluating the right time to launch an EV.

Conclusion:

To assist its parent Toyota’s vision of ‘Beyond Zero’, Lexus will accelerate the development of vehicles that meet the diversifying needs & lifestyles of customers around the world. It is establishing a new technical centre that integrates development, design, production, technology and planning departments to further encourage innovative vehicle development.

In the US, Toyota officials have suggested that future Toyota EVs will target affordability, not range, while Lexus EV models will target more range & greater performance.

Lexus gave out a statement:

“Lexus has delivered amazing product & brand experiences with new technologies & value since 1989. Now, the automotive industry has entered a period of transformation.

In addition to the growing mission of carbon neutrality & compliance with the ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ of the United Nations, customer values are changing & diversifying.

Mobility needs, customer lifestyle & environmental demands have evolved as part of the evolving luxury landscape. Through its ‘Lexus Electrified’ vision, Lexus aims to realize a fundamental leap in vehicle performance by employing electrification technology.

The Lexus driving experience is something we will continue to stress because we believe electrification & driving pleasure is not in contradiction, in fact, they can go hand-in-hand."

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