Tech

First Lexus Full-Electric Vehicle to Debut in Early 2020s

Lexus LS+ Concept

Full electric powertrains are coming to Lexus in the very near future, as parent company Toyota announced plans today to introduce more than 10 EVs by the early 2020s.

As part of this EV future, every model in the Lexus lineup will be available either as a dedicated electrified model or have an electrified option by 2025 — this will include hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), battery electric vehicles (BEVs), and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs).

This marks a dramatic shift for Toyota, who have been tentative in committing to full-electric vehicles in favor of fuel-cell and hybrid technologies. Hans Greimel of Automotive News explains the change in strategy:

Toyota had long argued that limited driving range, high costs and slow charging times would relegate EVs to a niche segment. But Toyota has changed gears as governments in China, Europe, India and elsewhere consider new regulations mandating eco-friendly vehicles to stem harmful emissions and pollution.

Toyota expects a battery breakthrough to help it overcome some of the technological challenges, including energy density, cost and weight. The carmaker says it aims to commercialize next-generation, solid-state batteries in the early 2020s.

The first new Toyota BEV is slated to debut in China before being gradually introduced in Japan, India, North America and Europe. The full press release is available here.

Comments
C
I hate to say this, but I'm one of the people that left Lexus for Telsa. Electric powertrains are the future in terms of smoothness and luxury. If Lexus can make a successful Model S competitor, maybe I would be willing to go back, however once you drive a Model S you're understand the feeling.
Chase C.
I hate to say this, but I'm one of the people that left Lexus for Telsa. Electric powertrains are the future in terms of smoothness and luxury. If Lexus can make a successful Model S competitor, maybe I would be willing to go back, however once you drive a Model S you're understand the feeling.
I do not blame you, Lexus is always late and has nothing great to offer really. Well, the LC is there and the late LS...smh
D
I have faith in their FCEV's future.

I'm not going anywhere. If they put out items i love. LC F, IS F, CT>UX cross w AWD, GS F, ES F AWD?... I'm buying.

Duracells will be for my boring, dreadful daily commuter. #Salarymen

#PetrolPower Still PO'd about a #Diesel Tundra/Tacoma
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  • December 18, 2017
Nice. At least Lexus and Toyota will not miss the next wave.
I just took a 5 hour trip in Germany (well it became 10 due to weather) in the Novitec Tesla Model X. Now I've driven the Model X before but never been on a long road trip with one. I have to say I was left impressed. It was quite, fast, smooth and the automated driving worked like a charm even in snow. Finding supercharger stations was a breeze and we ate while it charged up.

Really changed my perception a bit. Glad to see Lexus embrace this.
It's highly possible that, with the exception of BOF SUVs, the next generation (post TNGA) Lexus will no longer offer any gas-only trim.

Lexus Cohen
I do not blame you, Lexus is always late and has nothing great to offer really. Well, the LC is there and the late LS...smh
In what sense do you think Lexus is 'always late' when it comes to clean vehicles, who sells the biggest number of hybrid vehicles by a wide margin? And why do you think the Department of Energy has always used the Prius as the benchmark for EV technology evaluation in the past two decades?

What many people fail to see is the sheer amount of fundamental research TMC has put into EVs through their hybrid program. All these technologies related to rotors, stators, power electronics and inverters/converters: all the subtle details that are years ahead of competition. Their only arguably weak point at present is battery technology, but not really if the bigger picture is considered.

Current generation liquid electrolyte Li-ion batteries are not sufficient for BEVs to survive. They don't have enough energy density and specific power no matter how much optimization you put into them, period. All those crazy EV concepts thrown around by various manufacturers are for hype and for that single reason only. There is no technological breakthrough that will make them competitive against ICE cars and will die instantly when incentives are removed. TMC determined it's not worth the effort to perfect an interim solution and has always looked at the long-term (i.e. solid state for 2020s and lithium-air for 2030s). It has been the biggest sponsor for electrochemistry research in Japan, and a key reason why Japan is at the forefront for battery research: American institutions don't have a similar sponsorship from Detroit so they all do biochemistry (which gives them more funds) instead. It makes sure all these advancements are available to them the moment commercialization becomes possible.

In that sense Lexus and its parent Toyota can afford to 'be late' because they don't pretend to be the first, but just get things done.
I've always found interesting they've proclaimed BEV inefficient when FC technology has a ratio of 2:1 or 3:1 for energy needed to make energy that ends up in your car powertrain. And then there is a loss of autonomy when it comes to powering your car, you would be still tied to gas stations instead making your own energy at home.
mediumhot
I've always found interesting they've proclaimed BEV inefficient when FC technology has a ratio of 2:1 or 3:1 for energy needed to make energy that ends up in your car powertrain. And then there is a loss of autonomy when it comes to powering your car, you would be still tied to gas stations instead making your own energy at home.
nobody proclaimed that BEV is inefficient, and whole point of FCEV is that a lot of electric power is wasted and thrown away currently.

That solid state battery that is changing their game is a product of billions poured into research by Toyota since 2008 or so.ž

Problem thats going to happen with Tesla next year is that there are many more established companies going to come out with product that competes with it, for a limited share of the market.
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  • December 20, 2017
Toyot
spwolf
nobody proclaimed that BEV is inefficient, and whole point of FCEV is that a lot of electric power is wasted and thrown away currently.

That solid state battery that is changing their game is a product of billions poured into research by Toyota since 2008 or so.ž

Problem thats going to happen with Tesla next year is that there are many more established companies going to come out with product that competes with it, for a limited share of the market.
What no one knows is how fast that share will increase.
I agree. I wont be surprised if Tesla gets run out of business once the more established company start making their full EV cars. They have better resources, funds and distribution channel. And we know the cars would have better qualities too. Tesla is able to price their cars the way they do because they lack competition.
bogglo
I agree. I wont be surprised if Tesla gets run out of business once the more established company start making their full EV cars. They have better resources, funds and distribution channel. And we know the cars would have better qualities too. Tesla is able to price their cars the way they do because they lack competition.
Tesla is losing money though... so they are pricing their cars too low for what it cost them. And Jaguar's I-PACE is starting deliveries in about 6 months, with their production probably already more advanced than Model E. Thats where the real competition starts hitting, and Model S and X are going to have harder time... this is at time where Tesla needs increase of sales, not competition.
Levi
Toyot


What no one knows is how fast that share will increase.
It better start growing exponentially since everyone is going to be introducing new models in next 3 years and market demand is pretty soft.

Just look at incentives needed to sell every BEV bar Tesla right now. Unless whole EU goes China and demands EV sales by some %, demand wont grow enough to absorb all these new models coming out.

Now yeah, if solid state batteries are out in next 4-5 years and they actually deliver faster charging, more density and better price...........
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  • December 21, 2017
spwolf
Tesla is losing money though... so they are pricing their cars too low for what it cost them. And Jaguar's I-PACE is starting deliveries in about 6 months, with their production probably already more advanced than Model E. Thats where the real competition starts hitting, and Model S and X are going to have harder time... this is at time where Tesla needs increase of sales, not competition.
The Jaguar I-Pace will target Tesla customers, that are not Tesla 'fans'. German buyers do not buy Jaguar due to reliability concerns.
mediumhot
I've always found interesting they've proclaimed BEV inefficient when FC technology has a ratio of 2:1 or 3:1 for energy needed to make energy that ends up in your car powertrain. And then there is a loss of autonomy when it comes to powering your car, you would be still tied to gas stations instead making your own energy at home.
Never believe in any BEV vs. FCEV efficiency comparison. People ALWAYS make apples-to-oranges comparisons between these two.

In one case, some argue generation of electricity has an efficiency of at most 45%, factor in 20% charging loss, then BEV is only 36% efficient. Now the '60%' efficient FCEV is way ahead.

In another case some argue conversion of renewable energy is 80% for BEVs, while it is 30% for FCEVs. So BEV is better by a factor of two.

Neither of these cases are relevant in real world because they assume isolated cases and completely ignore the entire energy industry, i.e. missing the bigger picture. BEV power will not be fossil fuel-only, nuclear-only or solar-only, and hydrogen production will not be hydrolysis-only, steam reforming-only or solar catalysis-only, so an efficiency comparison will not be possible for either type.

One thing that we can compare, however, is cost. Unfortunately, a comparison is also irrelevant at the moment because the scale is limited, and both are hopelessly uncompetitive against oil.
Honestly I am skeptical on the BEV
They need a lot of extra cities power
What's great in pushing the BEV this much and still many countries and cities have electric shortage???
The FCEV on the other hand give you all what you want without putting extra load on the existing electric network
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  • December 21, 2017
maiaramdan
Honestly I am skeptical on the BEV
They need a lot of extra cities power
What's great in pushing the BEV this much and still many countries and cities have electric shortage???
The FCEV on the other hand give you all what you want without putting extra load on the existing electric network
The Mirai looks way too complex, and does not improve space compared to ICE.



More than that, the fact the tank has similar life to a battery and has to be replaced (at a cost) does not make it very appealing, ICE can use the same tank.

Levi
The Mirai looks way too complex, and does not improve space compared to ICE.

More than that, the fact the tank has similar life to a battery and has to be replaced (at a cost) does not make it very appealing, ICE can use the same tank.
Mirai is more of a concept vehicle than an actual production vehicle. In fact, 'mass production' of the Mirai wouldn't happen if not for Japanese government's generous subsidies.

When you are designing a completely new concept, the first thing you are concerned with is making it work. Optimization is an afterthought. The 'engine bay' of the Mirai actually just contains the air intake/radiator, the power electronics, and the traction motor. They seem to take up a lot of space but not really (think about a Prius Prime minus the ICE). The FC stack (along with the hydrogen pump) is just that little box beneath the front seat. In the rear it's mostly the hydrogen tank and the battery pack. Optimizing the layout wouldn't be Toyota's biggest concern at this moment, seeing how they are still using a huge, heavy, and inefficient NiMH battery for energy recovery. They are not trying to innovate everything here: most of the focus is on making the FC stack work.

One thing that they definitely cannot optimize in the near future is the tank, which is really FCV's biggest obstacle. They need some solid-state hydrogen-capturing material to have that problem solved. A similar problem exists for BEVs; they need their own materials breakthrough as well.

BTW, the front of a BEV will be just as cramped if the traction motor is placed in the front. Teslas could have the 'frunk' because they are primarily RWD. The problem with both BEV and FCEV is that the battery/FC cannot be used as part of the crash structure like an ICE (a big chunk of metal). You always need something in the front to absorb the energy during a crash, so having the power electronics and motors there is a good solution. A 'frunk' wouldn't work on a subcompact or compact car.
Guys again you think only on the car but not on the society as all

Even in Europe and NA we can still see some power loss in some areas , so how logic it is to add more load to the electric network for just charging cars

For me not logic to charge cars and lose electricity in homes
maiaramdan
Guys again you think only on the car but not on the society as all

Even in Europe and NA we can still see some power loss in some areas , so how logic it is to add more load to the electric network for just charging cars

For me not logic to charge cars and lose electricity in homes
The logic is start investing on the infrastructure now so the country doesn't fall behind when the time comes. Different nations have different energy issues and thus different agenda. All EV-related policies are in essence energy policies.

As an example, China is betting on trading carbon credit (in the future) to make up for its oil deficit, which is going to get worse and worse as coal is being phased out. European nations are already switching to renewables so EVs are better than dependence on Russian pipelines. Japan and Korean are pushing Hydrogen Economy because both can benefit hugely from clathrate methane extraction. USA and Canada don't care due to easy access to both oil and renewables, so they can always jump in as they see fit.
@ssun30
Agree with you but I don't think it is this easy anyway , hope really to have something international maybe like UN on rearranging the power sources to most countries across the globe

M
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