Lexus Lays Out Its EV Plans - Reveal Coming In November
Lexus revealed some images of a new concept battery-electric vehicle (BEV) it plans to show off to the public in November this week. More importantly, the company detailed its electrified vehicle plans. Here's what we learned:
Lexus Battery-Electric Plans
Before we go too far, let's analyze what Lexus is saying about timing. The company is using "2030" and "the next decade" as its timeframe for all of its EV discussions. Here is exactly what Lexus said about its timeline:
Lexus plans to unveil its first BEV in November 2019 – broadening its response to the needs of various regions around the world, including the development of HEVs, PHEVs, BEVs, and FCEVs. Moving forward after that, Lexus plans to expand its electrified vehicle lineup – launching its first PHEV and a new dedicated BEV platform early in the coming decade. By 2025, Lexus will have available electrified versions of all Lexus vehicle models, and we are aiming for the sales of electrified vehicle models to outpace those of conventional internal combustion engine vehicle models.
Lexus EV Design Philosophy
Lexus Says that it "Endeavors to continue providing enjoyable and safer driving vehicles." Coupled with that core plan, the company also says that using electrification technology it has gleaned from its hybrid production vehicles it, "targets a fundamental leap in vehicle performance, handling, control and driver enjoyment — even as mobility within our society continues to change with autonomous driving and vehicle electrification."
Lexus Electricification Thus Far
Do you consider hybrid technology to be a precursor to electric vehicles? If so, then you will appreciate that Lexus has one of the longest-running vehicle electrification programs in the premium vehicle space. The RX hybrid is now in its 15th model year. The Lexus CT 200h ran from 2011 until it was replaced recently with the UX Hybrid. Lexus also has hybrid sedans in other markets outside the U.S. The ES hybrid is also a lon-running model for Lexus. Based on this experience, the company says, "Lexus has led the world as a pioneer in electrification technologies such as the two-stage reduction gear and the multi-stage hybrid system which leverage technology to offer excellent performance and the direct driving sensation characteristic of Lexus Hybrid vehicles." Given that Toyota had a battery-electric crossover in California in 1997, we feel that Lexus is really exaggerating a bit here. Toyota is the leader in green vehicles globally and always has been.
Lexus LF-30 Electrified Concept
Uggh. Gullwing doors. The image above is from a concept car that Lexus will show off at the Tokyo Auto Show in November. Stop us if you have heard this before, but the concept vehicle uses individual electric motors in the wheels. Lexus says, "Precise electric motor control enables instantaneous adjustments to posture not possible with conventional vehicles. Furthermore, the LF-30 Electrified employs numerous advanced technologies with a look ahead to the year 2030- such as a new-concept cockpit based on a human-centered design philosophy and a steer-by-wire system."
Lexus sold about 2,800 hybrids in September. Separately, Toyota sold about 21,000 hybrids and PHEVs. The company still has a valid claim to being the green vehicle leader in automobiles, but if it wants to be taken seriously by the EV-advocates it is going to need to do a lot more with PHEVs and BEVs and in the very near term.
In addition to covering green vehicle topics, John Goreham covers safety, technology, and new vehicle news at Torque News. You can follow John on Twitter at @johngoreham.