Toyota will be enlisting Lexus to lead its electric vehicle thrust with a next-generation battery EV set to come from the Japanese manufacturer’s luxury brand by 2026, according to Nikkei Asia.
“We aim to develop a next-generation battery EV in the Lexus brand in which everything from batteries and platforms to the way the car is built will be optimised for BEVs,” said incoming Toyota president Koji Sato who will officially take up the role in April this year, taking over from outgoing president and CEO Akio Toyoda.
“To deliver appealing BEVs, we need to drastically change the way we do business, from manufacturing to sales and service, with a BEV-first mindset. Lexus will lead this transformation,” Sato said. Toyota is trying to meet the needs of increasingly EV-focused markets such as in developed countries, which are the main markets for the Lexus brands, Sato continued.
The Japanese manufacturer had been accused of slowing the industry’s transition to fully electric vehicles, and so the latest emphasis of electrification via Lexus was part of Toyota’s goal of providing a range of models that can meet the demand of all of its customers, Sato said. “The energy situation is different in each country, and Toyota’s unchanging policy is to consider the circumstances of each country,” he added.
Sato said that he regretted there were “communications issues” around Toyota’s EV strategy, which has been laid out for the mid- to long-term, and the manufacturer is currently focused on developing technology for hydrogen fuel cells and others in addition to batteries, as well as energy-saving efforts and reducing emissions in its day-to-day business operations.
In December 2021, Toyota unveiled 16 battery-electric vehicles across the Toyota and Lexus brands as part of its investment into developing carbon-reducing and carbon-neutral vehicles and technologies until 2030.
The Lexus brand unveiled the RZ in December 2021, its first globally available BEV. Based on the manufacturer’s electric vehicle-specific e-TNGA platform, the Lexus RZ is related to the Toyota bZ4X and drives all four wheels via two electric motors.
The Toyota bZ4X was previewed in Malaysia in January, and has been confirmed for launch in our market this year, having made its global debut in October 2021.
GALLERY: Lexus RZ