Lexus Says No To Plug-In Hybrids: “Our customers will get the car they need without the added complexity”
While the Toyota brand seems to be slowly turning to plug-in hyrbids these days (and all-electric offerings tomorrow), the Lexus brand – Toyota Groups’ “premium” lineup of automobiles, is stubbornly to remain plugless at least through 2020.
The Japanese company is happy with its progress to achieve 95g/km of CO2 emissions in Europe using only conventional hybrids, and is not going to add plug-ins at this current stage if they are not needed for compliance. Afterall, even if the brand fails themselves, they can still quickly offset any shortcomings they need for awhile from the Toyota mothership and via the new Prius Prime/Plug-In Hybrid.
There is however an intention to add plug-ins…that is, after the emission standards are tightened to the degree the brand will have to offer them.
Lexus Europe boss Alain Uyttenhoven said:
“Other companies need a few batteries and plugs to hit that target, but even with the growth of our SUV sales we are on course to be below 95g/km,”
“It doesn’t mean we’ll ignore the technology and in time I’m sure we will need it to hit tougher targets – but we’re ready for that if and when we need it. For now, we don’t; our customers will get the car they need without the added complexity.”
Lexus expects growth of its hybrid car sales (about 25% worldwide and 98% in Europe), but the main question is whether or not it will not be too late to establish a successful plug-in product after 2020? Or if the brand will manage to talk itself out of the hearts and minds of all its potential future EV costumers?