This past March, Lexus gave us a peek into its electric vehicle plans with the LF-Z concept. The zero-emission design study points the way to an electrified vehicle lineup that will include 10 new or upgraded models by 2025. Now, the company has confirmed that the first of several plug-in hybrid models will launch before the end of this year.
In a statement detailing its strategy, Lexus confirmed its first plug-in hybrid vehicle will be a mass-market model, which will be followed by an entirely new all-electric model next year. The Japanese automaker says that by using the expertise it has developed over the years in electrification and the world of hybrid vehicles, it will “create new value and driving experience unique to Lexus electrified vehicles”.
Lexus remains tight-lipped about the technical details of its future EVs, though it does say they will feature DIRECT4 technology. This includes a torque distribution system for all-wheel drive, which according to Lexus combines "highly-precise drive force control with responsive steer-by-wire systems that greatly enhance vehicle reflexes”. The result should be more dynamic handling that "appeals to all five senses," in the words of the automaker.
It all sounds a bit confused, but we'll see.
Currently, Lexus sells nine electrified models across upwards of 90 markets around the globe. Last year, about 33 percent of the brand's global sales were electrified models. Most significantly, Lexus has delivered more than two million hybrid and electric vehicles to its customers since April 2005.
By 2025, Lexus wants to offer an electrified variant of every model in its lineup. The company estimates that by the end of the decade, sales of Lexus hybrids and electric vehicles will surpass those of models with combustion engines. Finally, by 2050, Lexus wants to achieve carbon neutrality over the entire life cycle of its vehicles, including production, logistics, driving and recycling.