The future motorcar will either be a hybrid if it still has some fossil fuel connection or entirely battery powered. This is the time for automakers to decide which route to take. And Lexus may avoid the hybrid route.
German luxury carmakers seem to favour plug-in hybrid set-ups as the road forward in this game. Electric cars will also have a place in the line-up and hence from marketing perspective several powertrain choices could be available for consumers in future.
However, Lexus says that it has opted to devote its resources on full electric cars and fuel cell-powered models.
“We do not need to have plug-in hybrid vehicles. It’s a loophole in the market. We will reach the CO2 targets without them,” said Alain Uyttenhoven, the head of Lexus’ European operations. Uyttenhoven, added the new strategy by Lexus will leave the plug-in hybrids application to Toyota.
While Europe bumps up its emissions standards, Uyttenhoven feels that many car makers in future will not be able to meet the legal requirements and will have to offer better technologies as pure hybrids are unable to reach 75g/km, a target which will be in force soon.
Pricing of premium products is not a big issue for Lexus and despite high production costs Lexus will begin its offensive by introducing either an electric or a hydrogen-powered luxury model by 2020. It will be based on either the LS or the LC. In the interim period Lexus hopes it will be able to work out cost effective solution in this [electrification] application could also consider a smaller, city-friendly model powered by an all-electric drivetrain if all goes as planned.