Lexus Has A Big EV Problem To Solve

Industry News / 3 Comments

There's a long way to go to sell one million EVs yearly by 2030.

Every automaker right now is developing fully electric vehicles and many are already selling them, though not in significant numbers. Tesla and Polestar are two exceptions. But this is going to change significantly over the next several years and it's vital for carmakers to lay the groundwork. Some are doing so faster than others and if you snooze, you lose. Take Lexus, for example.

The Japanese luxury brand did manage to sell an all-time high of 260,000 electrified vehicle sales last year but this also accounts for hybrids and plug-in hybrids. The UX 300e, the only pure EV so far which isn't sold in the US (though the UX is available here as a hybrid and pure combustion-engined model), consisted of just 5,800 examples of that total, or less than 1 percent of all Lexus global sales in 2021.

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Lexus previously announced goals of selling 1 million EVs annually by 2030 and to be fully battery-electric by 2035. There's a lot of work to be done between now and then. Not even the next-generation F models are expected to be BEVs. In December, images of the RZ 450e Prototype hit the web, previewing an upcoming midsize EV crossover. The production-spec version will be shown this spring and sales are predicted to begin by early 2023.

Other upcoming spindle grille-wearing EVs will include a two-seat sports coupe that'll bear a resemblance to today's LC 500, an EV sedan, and another EV SUV with three rows of seating. It's possible it could replace the aging GX. Meanwhile, Lexus' chief luxury rivals, specifically Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz, are all rapidly moving towards an EV future.

Lexus Lexus Frontal Aspect Lexus 2020-2022 Lexus RX Hybrid Front Angle View CarBuzz
Frontal Aspect
2020-2022 Lexus RX Hybrid Front Angle View

The BMW i4 and iX are already on sale, as are the Audi e-tron GT and Mercedes EQS. Several more EVs from those German brands are due in the very near future. Lexus, however, is owned by Toyota whose global CEO, Akio Toyoda, has on several occasions spoken his mind regarding EVs. He's concerned the required infrastructure will not be ready in time, among other things. A few other CEOs of major carmakers share his opinion.

The good news for Lexus is that there's a plan in place leading to full-scale electrification. But given the current market conditions based on what rivals are doing, it might be necessary to expedite those plans.

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2019-2022 Lexus UX Hybrid Dashboard 2019-2022 Lexus UX Hybrid Rear Angle View 2019-2022 Lexus UX Hybrid Front Angle View 2020-2022 Lexus RX Hybrid Steering Wheel Design 2020-2022 Lexus RX Hybrid Rear Angle View

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