More on the Lexus Transition to Pure Electric


In a Q&A with journalists last month, Lexus president Koji Sato spoke at length about the brand’s upcoming shift to pure-electric vehicles. The entire interview also features Toyota president Akio Toyota and is worth reading, but let’s highlight some key Sato quotes on Lexus’ transition.

We will clarify the role of the Lexus brand within the company, which is to be a front runner in advanced technology areas and to lead our BEV products.

The announcement that Lexus would become an EV-only brand by 2030 marks a radical departure for the brand, perhaps even too radical. With such a massive shift in strategy, nearly everything about Lexus will change. This quote from Sato confirms that Lexus management is prepared to make hard decisions — models may be cancelled, customers not ready for EV may move elsewhere, but Lexus is moving straight forward.

BEVs use electricity and electric motors for wonderful responsiveness with smooth acceleration and deceleration, and quietness. This is something internal combustion engines don’t have.

Especially in the luxury segment, customers are looking for acceleration. Electric motors may be able to offer greater performance that engines cannot.

I actually think the time has come now. We spent about 10 years under the Master Driver Toyoda, going through tough trials to improve our cars. We’ve been trying to figure out what makes a Toyota or Lexus car unique.

It took 10 years for us to come up with a BEV which can make Akio Toyoda smile a little, finally. I think BEVs are a catalyst for making cars more fun and enjoyable. In particular, electrification technologies are very effective in controlling the vehicle’s driving power.

So, believing that BEVs will give us an opportunity for a more exciting future, Lexus is going to shift toward BEVs.

Given the out-of-nowhere vibe of this announcement and Akio Toyota’s well-known skepticism of pure-electric cars, there was a worry that this switch was an abrupt (and purely financial) decision — instead, it appears that new developments has finally spurred Toyota to change his stance. And that, to me, is maybe the most exciting aspect of all — has Akio Toyota finally warmed to the Lexus brand?

EVs

ssun30

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After all the Lexus people failed to impress the boss with a 650PS LC-F prototype. So it must took something 'way more powerful' as he requested for him to change his mind. I don't think that casual ride in the RZ was what convinced him.
 

Jeonsa

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After all the Lexus people failed to impress the boss with a 650PS LC-F prototype. So it must took something 'way more powerful' as he requested for him to change his mind. I don't think that casual ride in the RZ was what convinced him.
Definitely agree, he kind of gave that vibe off during the Q&A
 

CRSKTN

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SSB applications by 2025 will be hybrid.

Maybe BEV only by 2030, but if things are going as I believe they are, a SSB performance vehicle as a hybrid application is what we will see by 2025 or so.
 

LS500-18

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I think that is very smart to use solid state in hybrids first. It gets waaaay more batteries out in the real world faster and at lower cost which will result in better tech faster, even though it doesn't mean SSB BEV right away.

Sure it's not politically correct to keep pushing hybrids, BEV fans will continue their drivel about non-BEVs.
 
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I think that is very smart to use solid state in hybrids first. It gets waaaay more batteries out in the real world faster and at lower cost which will result in better tech faster, even though it doesn't mean SSB BEV right away.

Sure it's not politically correct to keep pushing hybrids, BEV fans will continue their drivel about non-BEVs.
And you know, political correctness doesn't mean its right.
 

mikeavelli

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After all the Lexus people failed to impress the boss with a 650PS LC-F prototype. So it must took something 'way more powerful' as he requested for him to change his mind. I don't think that casual ride in the RZ was what convinced him.
Uhhh, the LC chief engineer is Koji Sato. It wasn’t a fail, it sounds like it’s more like “let’s just do something better”.
 

Gor134

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Uhhh, the LC chief engineer is Koji Sato. It wasn’t a fail, it sounds like it’s more like “let’s just do something better”.
So it's true LC-F project was converted into a more dedicated sportscar project?
 

CRSKTN

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So it's true LC-F project was converted into a more dedicated sportscar project?

Not necessarily converted.

They wanted to go truly to supercar levels of performance.

That’s why they’re building this new LF…