Electric cars are not yet ready for the mass market, nor is the environmental impact fully understood according to Lexus boss Yoshihiro Sawa.
Speaking to Autocar, Sawa said that Lexus is working on all types of powertrain, including battery electric and fuel cell technologies, but the Japanese company would not enter the market until customer and environmental benefits are clear.
“Our philosophy is to provide freedom of movement, so we have to develop technology on all fronts,” said Sawa. “We understand that electric is very necessary – more than some, perhaps, with our early move to hybrid, but we can also see that full EV will not suit everyone. You can’t make an electric Land Cruiser work, for instance – and there are people in remote parts of the world whose lives depend on that car.
“Pure EVs currently require a long charging time and batteries that have an environmental impact at manufacture and which degrade as they get older. And then, when cells need replacing, we have to consider plans for future use and recycling. It is a complex issue – much more complex than the current rhetoric perhaps suggests. I prefer to approach the future in a more honest way.
“If we are looking for the best solution it is my opinion that the best solution is not only EV; we must consider petrol, hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell. If we focus on EV only we will not provide the answers people need.”
Another report suggest that Lexus is considering electrified powertrains for its F performance sub-brand, going as far as offering a standalone F hybrid GT model. Combining an electric motor with a strong engine will give future Lexus F models the performance required, as well as allow Lexus for some time to make up its mind on full electric vehicles.