Lexus is developing its first EV model, specifically for the Chinese and European markets, reports Automotive News Europe.
President of Lexus, Yoshihiro Sawa added that an EV is necessary for China, and certain markets in Europe, amidst tightening emissions regulations in these regions. But Sawa declined to confirm when the new model will be out, stating that it depends on regulation rollouts of each market.
He added, “Lexus is working on plug-in hybrids and fuel cell vehicles in addition to EVs, Sawa noted. But plug-ins do not fulfill some regulatory requirements. It's a transition era. We are studying several possibilities,”
Lexus’ parent company Toyota currently doesn’t sell any EV models, but recently unveiled an EV version of its C-HR SUV which is set to go on sale in China next year.
Toyota plans to market 10 EV models globally by 2025.
Toyota is a pioneer in electric-hybrid technology, a legacy it started with the Toyota Prius over two decades ago, but a relative newcomer to the EV market. Earlier this year, Toyota entered a joint venture with Panasonic (who also supplies batteries to Tesla) to develop prismatic lithium-ion batteries, solid-state batteries, and other future generation EV batteries. Toyota and Panasonic will start operations in 2020.
Thus, it might be a while before we see the first Lexus EV break cover.
Separately, InsideEEVs recently reported that Toyota is quietly planning another EV model due in 2021.