Lexus plans its first EV for Europe, China push
Declaring that a pure electric vehicle is necessary for China and Europe, Lexus International President Yoshihiro Sawa said that the brand is working on its first EV.
But exactly what it will be and when it will appear, the Toyota marque is still trying to figure out. «Definitely here we need an EV in the future, but I cannot say when or how» Sawa said last week in an interview at the Shanghai Auto Show.
China's strict emissions controls and mandates for electric vehicle credits are driving automakers into EVs. And Lexus will also need them in Europe, where certain cities have strict EV requirements, Sawa said.
Toyota, and by extension Lexus, is a latecomer to the industry's pure EV push. Toyota instead continues to leverage the hybrid technology and is now the world's biggest maker of gasoline-electric hybrid cars.
But the Toyota brand will start selling an all-electric version of its C-HR subcompact crossover in China next year as part of a push to introduce more than 10 battery electrics globally by 2025.
Lexus introduced its first hybrid in 2005 and now has 11 hybrid offerings worldwide. About 26 percent of the 698,330 vehicles it sold globally last year were gasoline-electric.
Lexus is working on plug-in hybrids and fuel cell vehicles in addition to EVs, but plug-ins do not fulfill some regulatory requirements Sawa noted. Which added: «It's a transition era. We are studying several possibilities».