Lexus, the luxury marque of Toyota, is finally launching an electric vehicle for the U.S. market in 2022. Other countries do already have a version of Lexus’ UX 300e with a fully-electric drivetrain, but that vehicle is just a reworked version of the hybrid UX 300. As such, it doesn’t scream desirability and lacks the range of a ground-up design.
The first EV from Lexus should arrive in 2022, according to Cnet's Roadshow, and it hopes to have 20 EVs available by 2025. It has previously shown of the LF-Z concept which is an ambitious new car that probably won’t see the light of day in the form it was shown back in March. The company also expects that by 2025 its EVs will have Tesla levels of performance with ranges of more than 370 miles.
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It’s likely that Lexus’ first EV may well be based on the upcoming Toyota bZ4X, which offers a 90kWh battery and 150kW fast charging. That vehicle can manage 373 miles of range, according to official figures. The bZ platform is a collaboration between BYD, Daihatsu, Subaru and Suzuki and will be a significant force in the EV market. The bZ4X is in production in China and Japan and the company plans to launch it globally in 2022.
Lexus and Toyota have both taken some stick for being slow to the pure EV market. Toyota was one of the first companies to really push hybrid motors. The Prius was a global hit and the company has continued to offer a lot of hybrid drive cars. However the company has so far avoided full electric drive, putting it behind companies like Nissan and Korean firms Hyundai and Kia.
Then there’s the hydrogen issue, Toyota still believes this technology has legs, but has so far only produced the expensive Mirai and that’s possibly okay if you live in California, where there are 35 stations offering the fuel. There are just two in South Carolina and one each in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Perhaps not a great option then.
Either way, with the growing popularity of electric, Lexus' introduction, while not surprising, is a welcome inclusion.