Lexus President Says Electric Car Push Is Happening Too Soon


Is another legacy car maker failing to fully grasp the current trends in the automotive industry?

Last weekend, while speaking at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, Lexus president Yoshihiro Sawa joined his German car industry counterparts in what is seemingly another cautious wade into the waters of the electric car. During his first visit to Goodwood, Sawa talked to the press about the electric future for his company. He revealed that Lexus is working on all types of electric vehicle powertrains – being developed in conjunction with their parent company Toyota – but they aren’t going to leap into the electric car market any time soon. He believes that staying until the customer and environmental benefits are clear is a good way to go about the whole electric car thing.

“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.”

Certainly, Mr. Sawa is more than qualified to make these assumptions. However, while we tend to agree in part with his conclusions, the sheer real-world examples provide us with a completely different view of things. The fully-electric Toyota Landcruiser conversion, or the record-breaking 2017, where we saw electric vehicle sales up more than 25 percent compared to the year before, beg us to differ. Right now, even some of Lexus’ primary competitors like BMW and Mercedes already offer plug-in hybrid variants of their flagship sedans, specifically, the 7 Series and S-Class, but Lexus is staying silent on the EV front.

While we’re not ready to call it quits on Lexus just yet, these are not strong signals for an electric future from one of the world’s most premier luxury car brands. If the trend within the company isn’t reversed and more emphasis isn’t put on electric vehicles, we fear the Japanese car company may soon face the prospect of doing simply too little, too late.

Source: AutoCar

Categories: General, Toyota

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141 Comments on "Lexus President Says Electric Car Push Is Happening Too Soon"

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“Until the benefit are clear..” Gee, I wonder what epiphany Lexus is waiting for? Sounds like they’re working really hard to grasp EV’s..

Sound like the song of the loser.

They are japs. They won’t move until the report of the report of the positive report for the global evaluation anual report would reach Toyota’s CEO. And that could be like never.

-1 for the racial slur. And frankly, the remainder of of your statement can apply to any large bureaucratic entity, like most legacy automakers and practically every old school industry.

So Sensitive we are ! It’s racist to even say the name of a country anymore.

No, it is racist to use that particular word:

“Today it is generally regarded as an ethnic slur among Japanese minority populations in other countries, although English-speaking countries differ in the degree to which they consider the term offensive. In the United States, Japanese Americans have come to find the term very controversial or extremely offensive, even when used as an abbreviation.”

Any reason not to use “Japanese”?

Or if you want another term, “Nipponese” works too.

Probably too hard to spell. Amazing (in a negative way)to hear/see that term used today for Japanese.

You don’t realize that the bigoted term “japs” is a racist slur? Have you been asleep for the past 50 years?

In Norway, it means an ambitious, dynamic, indivicualistic – and usually greedy – person. But it’s written with a double p. I guess it’s what you guys call a YAP or yuppie.

I’m in east coast and mid west and that term was not use as with a racist tendency to our Asian friends with Japanese background ms

Nope, not sensitive at all. I just call it like I see it. For longer than I’ve been around (some 40+ years) it’s been considered a racial slur and inappropriate in polite conversation, particularly among Japanese Americans.

Additionally, you were also prejudiced in that you assumed the bureaucratic mentality applies only to Japanese companies. I’ve also been around long enough to know that the bureaucratic mentality applies to just about any large entity. I’ve known folks from GE who would complain about the “report of the report of the positive report for the global evaluation annual report.” Bureaucratic insanity is universal.

Ok it don’t feel that was racial. It like when I’m called rican since I’m Puerto Rican m. Short abbreviations

It all comes down to how it is used. In most parts of the US I’ve been, it’s considered derogatory because it’s used to demean, put down, or insult Japanese Americans, hence making it a racial slur.

People need thicker skin.

That’s not what the Lexus president said; that is the author’s interpretation. Why not complain about what the president actually said? The quote is right in the article.

I gues the Benefits will only start to become clear as they see PIV (BEV & PHEV) Vehicle sales increasing, while their sales start to fall, at similar rates of 25% per year, 2-3 years in a row!

I guess he is talking about the benefits for car makers, not anyone else. And except for places where regulation is pushing hard for EVs, it isn’t actually that difficult to see his point. So far, nobody is making comparable profit on EVs to what they’re making on ICE. Nissan is supposedly closest with a decent margin on the LEAF, but that model alone will probably never recover the investments that were required to get there. (Those investments will of course benefit other models though, so this isn’t necessarily an issue.) EVs are the entire car world for me and have been for a few years. So I share the feeling of frustration when things aren’t moving along as quickly as they could. I also agree that it looks completely clear that the future of cars is going to be with electric powertrains. But it is still going to be many years before EVs are 5% of the global market. Maybe by 2022 if things go really well – but probably not until 2025. If we want things to change faster, we should demand of regulators that they make those who buy and use ICE vehicles pay for the costs… Read more »

Reminds me of the NRA and their political puppets and media always saying “now is not the time to talk about guns; it’s disrespectful,” after each (seemingly monthly) mass shooting.

Odd how the daily murders in the big cities does not get all the attention of the rare shooting in suburbia

I live in suburbia. Shootings in suburbia are NOT rare. It’s more like what I said above, you only hear about the big ones.

And, before this comment thread goes off the rails, as it inevitably will, may I suggest we move it to the IEV Forums under the “off topic” category?

Found the right-wing puppet. Anyway, shootings in suburbia are becoming alarmingly common (hence the media coverage) + big cities are gentrified these days and thus, murder rates are lower than ever.


You mean like NYC region populations of 18 million that has 200 murders on yearly average and half of those are gun related. Must really boring in surburbia. Yes mass shootings like surburbia will cause bigger headlines and complete crackdown of the city

Monthly? I think monthly would be an improvement. Mass shootings are like wildfires, you only hear about the big ones.

Toyota has this lust to be a muscle car company, but doesn’t realize the fail of its anime designs at Goodwood any better than its engines on the street. They apparently will keep attempting to assign EVs to the bottom, as Jag, Porsche, Tesla and Volvo eat Lexus’ lunch. Bon apetite.

Haha! Yes! This! They seem to have forgotten that they’ve designed transportation appliances, rather than cars, for so long that most people think of Toyota’s as just that: transportation appliances! And some of the more recent examples of the Corolla or Camry that I’ve driven do not give me cause to change my opinion of Toyota’s being a transportation appliance!

They (Toyota) sell about 10 million cars per year and make > 20 billion per year and know nothing. Oh stop!… Remember they pioneered the hybrid and now actually make money on them. I agree that their cars are weird looking in general.

Didn’t say they weren’t making big money making transportation appliances. To me, it just speaks to the fact that, these days, if presented with a non-automotive option that was fast and convenient, then Toyota’s sales would probably crash. But they probably don’t have to worry about that for awhile.

The point of my response was merely to agree that they are increasingly trying to pass themselves off as a company that makes muscle cars or sports cars when their cars are clearly more like transportation appliances.

Mazda suffers from a similar perception problem. If you don’t take EV’s seriously, your company wont survive the future.

True enough, but when exactly do you have to start selling them? And is there much reason to say publicly that you do, before you start offering them..? EVs represented 1% of global car sales in 2017. And less than zero percent of profits. It’s not absolutely clear to me that you will necessarily go bust immediately if you don’t jump on that bandwagon right this minute. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to see EVs grow their share as fast as possible. So I would love to hear Toyota announce a massive EV program. If they, like VW, had public plans of introducing 80 new EV models by 2025, that would very likely also get Mazda moving, and Honda do a bit more than the slight (but right) moves they’ve announced so far. But we have to accept that their job isn’t to serve the public interest, but their shareholder’s interests. Your argument seems to be based on such considerations, but you have in fact said absolutely nothing to substantiate the implicit need to act NOW. From a business point of view, who knows what is optimal? There’s risks aplenty by going too hard too soon, as well as… Read more »

Wow, that second quoted paragraph is nothing but classic golden oldies:
• “require a long charging time”
• “batteries…have an environmental impact at manufacture”
• “[batteries] degrade as they get older”
• “when cells need replacing, we have to consider plans for future use and recycling”

All of those points have been addressed if not thoroughly debunked for some time now.

The batteries in today’s EVs and every EV that’s going to come out in, say, the next 5 years do require a long charge time. Even a Tesla supercharger is too long by my definition. “But but you’ll just charge over night when you’re sleeping and thus you don’t need fast charge times”… yeah, not everyone has that luxury.

They do degrade as they get older. Just ask anyone with an older first gen Leaf.

There is going to be a problem when most folks are driving EVs and it’s time to deal with millions of old battery packs that are no longer good enough for vehicle use.

He’s smart for not putting all his eggs in the BEV basket and knowing that not every driver lives in the suburbs and only uses their car to commute to work.

*sigh* I knew this was going to happen: Supercharging is too long by any critic’s definition. They will always try to make a mountain out of that molehill. The 5 or so times a year I need to supercharge, I’m fine with stopping 15-30 minutes to charge; it still cumulatively beats the 10-15 minutes I used to have to go out of my way twice a month to gas up my Saturn, and I don’t have to stand out in whatever the weather happens to be doing at the time for 5 minutes. “Not everyone has that luxury:” but the majority already do, and more will have charging access as the switch accelerates. Leaf got it wrong, but other manufacturers (particularly Tesla) have made battery degradation somewhat irrelevant with active battery management, not just thermal but load balancing/conditioning as needed. 5% loss over ten years is fine (I’m at 2.5% after 3 years and can see the loss rate is already tapering off). Range may change, but efficiency doesn’t whereas in ICE cars, both range AND efficiency (per full tank) get worse as the engine and parts age. Several second-life battery storage projects using aging battery packs have already been… Read more »

Fast enough: Charge at home is more or less needed… Agree.
Degrade: No, no-one are selling 1.gen Leaf quality batteries today.
Old Batteries: 96 % recyclable, and the price of a “dead” EV battery is very high today – because of many re-use options.
Eggs: He is so smart to not put ANY eggs in the basket he is going to live from in five to ten years.

I don’t think anyone serious is looking for legacy OEMs to put ALL their eggs in the BEV basket. But AN egg would be nice.

51% of CAPEX spending would be better. That would show they’re not going to go bankrupt on the S curve.

Took our first road trip in the Model 3 last week. The charging was such a non-event it’s not even really worth talking about. With 3 people in the car we will stop every 2-2.5 hours regardless if it’s a gas car or an EV. First stop after driving 2 1/2 hours I plugged in, walked next door to Starbucks, went to the bathroom, waited in line and got a coffee, walked back to car and drove off. Around 2 more hours of driving and I plugged in, walked next door to Firehouse subs, everyone went to bathroom, ate a sandwich, got back in an drove off. Drove around 2 more hours and arrived at destination with what would be a full battery in our old i3. That’s like 6 1/2 hours of driving and one 15 minute stop and a second 25 minute stop. It was amazing how fast the first 50% of the battery would charge. Basically by the time you could walk next door and for everyone to go to the bathroom and return you have 130 miles of range added to whatever you had left. And this was with the weight of 3 people and their… Read more »

That was my experience as well. I couldn’t believe how many miles I got in such a short time.

I recall that you had a Volt before. Did you trade it in for a Model 3 or do you still have the Volt? How do you like the M3?

Yes, I sold my Volt (and still miss her), but I didn’t need 2 cars. Love the Model 3 so far. It rides a bit rougher than the Volt, and has some glitches, but you can’t beat the EV range and all of the technology in the Model 3.

Ice have an efficiency if about 30%, why doesn’t Lexus work on increase the efficiency to about 80% before they start making ice cars?.

That’s physically impossible.

[quote]“But but you’ll just charge over night when you’re sleeping and thus you don’t need fast charge times”… yeah, not everyone has that luxury.[/quote]

Thank you, Captain Obvious. Why is it that EV-haters think everyone needs to be reminded of this over and over and over, ad nauseam?

You could just as well have said, back in 1908, “The motorcar doesn’t fit everyone’s lifestyle. Some people really do need a horse rather than a Model T.” And then kept repeating that every time you heard anyone talk about the Ford Model T.

Yeah, the EV revolution won’t happen overnight, any more than the motorcar revolution did. You don’t need to keep reminding us.

But the EV revolution will triumph just as surely as the motorcar revolution did. It won’t be that many years before almost everyone in first-world countries will have a place to park at night where they can slow-charge a plug-in EV.

Oh good, you noticed that too. I was going to suggest that Mr. Sawa look into the current state of Li Ion battery technology. After all, his company and parent company are still mostly using NiMH in their hybrids.

I was thinking that this was an interview from 2013, not from 2018.

…or even 2003!

I t is important to remember that unlike an ICE that sits a long time the BEV degrades with each passing hours the benefits go to those who put the most milage on them,whicjh is what we want that displaces the most gasoline use, but current chemistries do degrade not just with milage, charging ,and discharging but also with time.

Another tired, old, worn-out EV-hater argument. Won’t take much more of that, “BroncoBet”, before you’re identified as one of the Usual Suspects here.

MPG in a gasmobile degrades over time, as pistons, rings and other ICEngine parts wear. Just like BEV battery packs very slowly lose capacity as years pass. Neither process is going to stop anybody from buying one. Entropy happens; welcome to the real world!

What BronceBet said is a very true statement. So the best use of ICEs or Lexi is for vehicles that are not actually driven. See we can all agree on many things.

I notice that people do tend to forget the time factor. But also any talk of degradation is playing into FUD. It is too bad that we have become so polarized that we can’t really have honest relevant discussions anymore.

I have had times in my life where I didn’t drive that many miles. At those times, I had cheap cars. When I had to drive a lot, I got a nicer car. Pretty logical and probably repeated by most everyone. Given that fact, Lexus is planning on going after the short distance or rare drivers with expensive cars. Not smart – there is a market of course, but not a big one.

Thanks, Chris Stork! Yeah, that plays like a “Greatest EV-hater hits of the ’90s”, and shockingly outdated by now.

Especially offensive is the suggestion that making a set of batteries just once for a BEV or PHEV, produces anywhere near as much pollution as making and distributing the several hundred tanks full of gasoline used by a typical gasmobile over the course of its lifetime.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

Not happening too soon, your a$s is just too damn LATE!!!

Their funeral.

A shame though, their vehicles would be so much nicer with a strong plug-in sensation. But it’s currently not.

Yes. I don’t care for most of their cars, but the Highlander is an exception (we frequently rent them). I would love a Highlander Prime but Toyota just won’t build one. Even the upcoming 2019 Rav 4 redesign is a missed opportunity.

Edit: Ditto on the Lexus RC hybrids though I probably couldn’t afford one (sorry, I got caught up in the above thread and almost forgot that this guy is the Lexus Prez).

I do agree with one small part of his statement, which is that there should be more push for PHEVs. Instead, the market seems to be stratifying into models that are either entirely-ICE or entirely-battery.

EREVs can eliminate over 90% of gasoline consumption while allowing charging infrastructure to grow at a more economically sustainable pace. They allow consumers to get a window into the EV experience without the (potentially) harsh penalties of adjusting to BEV charging mentalities for the first time.

Agreed. Tesla forced the issue, but the general market isn’t there just yet.

Actually what Tesla did was address the issue so now they have no issue… see? The others did nothing and wait for others to address the issue.

Currently most PHEV’s are just too expensive to be economically viable for the majority of people (without rebates/incentives which aren’t available everywhere). They don’t have the mystique of a full BEV, it’s an evolution of their vehicle, not the revolution going from ICE to BEV, AND they still have the ICE internals, so few of the real benefits of BEV. Like a Swiss army knife – jack of all trades, master of none. That said they, like all the other options they do have their benefits, especially for those with 30 mile commutes each day (that can’t take public transport). In future, with prices declining, they are likely to be the main market in larger vehicles that do longer ranges (Pickups and Large SUV’s) – electric around town and Petrol for longer trips. This market segment has a long way before it becomes BEV due to it’s very nature. Sawa seems to have a very pragmatic and realist approach to the issue. Rather than put all their eggs in one basket, provide a broad range of options for people to choose from. That’s provided now with engine type (hybrid/petrol/diesel) and engine and fuel tank size options. The BEV for the… Read more »

Enough KWh for 40 mile commutes (round trip) has always made sense, with a range extender. But then GM played it right, going to 1.8 liters because you can’t train car buyers to flip over to Rex ahead of time. Too much education, no matter how much sense it made.

BMW wasn’t wrong, that consumers too intimidated by BEV, or the likes of an i3 REx, would be more “comfortable” with just a little battery and a normal ICE. Then, anyone with one, who drives more than 10 miles in cold weather, or comes to discover smaller battery also mean anemic electric power (<10KWh), eventually wants more. Grow the KWh, keep this type of customer. It's happening fast enough for many who don't visit IEV, but not in the way you describe. Before they get to "large enough battery, small enough engine", it looks like all-battery cars will popularize.

I’ve never heard someone mention the “mystique” of an i-MiEV or a Focus EV, so I don’t know that such a thing applies to “BEVs” as much as it does to, say, Teslas. And as far as “revolution” and real EV benefits go, when I tell people that I’ve driven my Volt for more than 25k miles over the last 2 years and I’m on my 4th tank of gas (with 1 oil change), they seem to think it’s pretty revolutionary.

I’m also not sure that expense is a point in favor of BEVs. Look at the Hyundai IONIQ: the PHEV version is significantly cheaper than the BEV version. Unless you’re talking about sub-150-mile BEVs, the point where adding an ICE is cheaper than adding more and more batteries is not that large of a number (in kWh). There will – eventually – come a point where batteries are cheap enough that you can include a 300-mile battery pack for less than the cost of adding an ICE drivetrain, but that point is quite a bit in the future.

Ultimately, though, I think we’re mostly saying the same thing.

Mid size Pickups that use a 2.6+ Litre single Gas Engine, could put Chevy’s 1.8 L Volt Drivetrain in Front, 40-60 kWh Battery, and a Bolt EV Motor / Drivetrain motor in the Rear, for an AWD PHEV-120+ Pickup! That might be pricey at first, but it could draw in buyers of a more “Die Hard” nature!

It’ll be interesting to see what Ford are planning for the F-150. Something like that may well be a good option to replace the 2.7L Ecoboost, or they could go the whole hog and try and build a replacement for the 3.5 Ecoboost and 5.0 V8. The issue being the battery weight is going to have to come out of payload capacity, which is one of the issues with the new 3.0 Diesel.

They’re also going to have to try and carve out a niche with their PHEV option that doesn’t cut into the 3.0 Diesels marketshare. Done properly it may well appeal to a different type of buyer. 3.0 Diesel for the long range tower, PHEV for the shorter stop start predominantly city user (city maintenance vehicles, contractors and recreational vehicles where people use them mostly around town, but need to take their boat/bikes/camper away at weekends).

Perhaps Chevy also could bring back a (majorly) updated version of their pickup hybrid system as well. They made one prior to 2014, but it was so so in the real world and just to expensive.

While it’s true that a 300 mile BEV will be somewhat more expensive than a PHEV for quite some time, anyone with some EV experience soon realises that the BEV is a more desirable option, and likely worth the price premium for most users…

I agree, it SHOULD be much cheaper in the long run to build and maintain a single drivetrain, rather than what is essentially two drivetrains. We just need to get there both price wise and practicality wise. For some vehicles that’s going to take quite a while.

Basically PHEV just feels like a stopgap, which is why I never get to enthused by it. That said, in future I’ll probably end up with one on our large vehicle unless solid state battery technology advances significantly in the next few years.

The talk 8-12 years ago on this idea was called PHEV-10, PHEV-20, & PHEV-40; For 10, 20 & 40 Electric miles.

However, it seems to me that maybe today it should be PHEV-25, PHEV-50, & PHEV-100!

Prius Prime is already demonstrating demand (or, at least: Interest) for the PHEV-25 Point; and Volt already has shown, and continues to show demand (Or Interest) in the ~PHEV-50 Point! But who has tested the PHEV-100 Point of Market Entry? Maybe i3 Rex? Not quite, too crippled in North America, for sure!

Also, while Volt gets better, what has been its move to lower retail prices?

I agree that there should be more PHEVs and EREVs sold, particularly since some people may want a gas engine as “insurance” while charging infrastructure is being built up or might live somewhere remote that will take a long time before it has meaningful charging infrastructure. Additionally, large vehicles, like minivans, may not be capable of going full BEV yet.

However, I think the biggest problem with BEVs is that they’re largely hatchbacks and subcompact CUVs. Those are predominately niche categories when most people buy midsize vehicles (be they sedans or CUV/SUVs). I’m pretty sure what helps Tesla is the fact that the Model S and Model X were basically built as midsize vehicles. They’d probably sell even more of them if they weren’t so damn expensive. Hell, I’d even take a lift-back over a hatchback.

As for charging infrastructure and the high cost of EVs, well, that’s what subsidies are for.

There is literally no PHEV model in existence that actually sees >90% electric driving average in the real world. i3 REx is at the very top with 80%; Chevy Volt comes next with 70%.

While PHEVs can be a good entry drug for people who don’t dare make the full plunge yet, once the advantage of EVs become clear, a PHEV only looks like a poor compromise…

As of the time of this post, I’m literally at 94.3% EV over the last two years. And before you say, “Well, you should own a BEV instead”… a toilet that meets 99% of your needs means you need another toilet.

Even using your numbers, a 70% reduction in gas consumption is a huge improvement, not a “poor compromise.”

I said *on average*. I know some people get way more out of a PHEV; but others get way less. Thus PHEVs do not save more than 90% fuel in general.

A PHEV is usually a poor (albeit affordable) compromise compared to a long-range BEV, since it still has higher maintenance costs, less space, and trades a longer all-electric range for the combustion back-up. There are certainly valid use cases, where PHEVs do make sense. However, often it ends up being more of a gateway drug; and once made fully aware of the advantages of electric driving, a lot of people tend to go all-in with a BEV instead. That’s why the market tends to “stratify”, as the original poster said.

If I remove the three long road trips from my 2017 Volt’s stats I’m over 97% EV with local driving. I wouldn’t even have attempted one of those trips in any long range BEV simply because I went where there are no chargers available.

People in remote parts of the world not being able to charge their land cruiser is a red herring

If they are inland remote, where did they get the Herring? Red or otherwise?

Toyota really haves BEVs and loves Fool Cells. It’s amazing.

They invested billions, and though they had an edge… Now they realise that all they have is fool’s gold, and they are actually behind. Of course that’s hard to accept…

I hear desparation in the tone of his comments. Lexus has nothing to offer so he throws a hail mary hoping his Lexus worshiping buyers will agree with him and not buy EV’s.
The only thing he said that I agree with is that “we can also see that full EV will not suit everyone”.
But for the vast majority of drivers today, ANY EV available will provide sufficient range for the average commute.

Rather disingenuous for them to speak of ‘Hard to locate charging facilities’ for electric cars, since any presumed LEXUS product would easily gain some charge from the 110 volt outlet in the Garage or Car Port while the owner is sleeping.

Their parent company’s “MIRAI” has even “HARDER TO LOCATE” charging facilities, since I’d have to airlift the thing to California.

How sad to be conflicted about the future (fuel cells – LOL), trapped by the past (ICE infrastructure) and leading in the present (hybrids).

Toyota are waiting for several breakthroughs for fuel cells to make it to the future; need to continue making profits with ICE and believe the recent past (hybrids) is their medium term direction.

If we wait for Lexus to do something, there is still no electric car on the road today.

Mr. Sawa is completely right when he mentions all these remote areas in Africa. Good thing the people there can buy their luxus with a nice V6 for a long time to come. It’s great to see a car company have a clearly defined market for their products.

…and Tesla, never mind that, it will just go away as will all those pesky government mandates and gasoline will rule again!

I wonder if he realizes that Tesla’s two sedans outsold the entire five-car Lexus lineup in the US last month.

Didn’t you read the article: plenty of demand for lexus in remote areas in Africa where people have no electricity! Nothing to worry about!

Yeah, hehe, if people cannot afford electricity of ANY kind , then they cannot afford a Lexus. China is helping the African Continent develop like never before, including dozens of new large scale power generating stations. Thirty years from now, I doubt Lexus will be worried about lack of electricity in most of the African Continent.

Since Tariffs may be implemented on Chinese Solar panels coming into the states, I’m sure Africa will be glad to get one or two of them instead.

He has to say sonething to explain why they just lost to a pair of EVs at the race they were at.

” He believes that staying until the customer and environmental benefits are clear “

I wonder what would happen if everyone followed that strategy. Apparently he doesn’t realise that EV and battery technology is where it is today because some decided not to wait and get going.

Technology doesn’t develop itself. it is not beamed down from an alien starship. Nor gifted to us by a deity. It’s hard work.

I believe Subaru is following that strategy too… we’ll see what comes of it…

Whatever. The future is coming. Lexus can await its Darwin Award.

He makes one exceptionally good point…we’re already drowning in recyclables that aren’t being recycled, and we need to get a plan in place to deal with all these batteries and some toxic elements. However, this is a golden business opportunity to start that industry. Instead of expressing “concern,” put some Lexus corporate muscle behind it and start building that part of the industry.

There’s this entire industry unfazed by grid-defection.

Here’s a “plan”: Tesla’s battery packs have such low toxicity that they can be legally thrown into a landfill.

This is a non-issue.

Of course it would be better to recycle them, but so far nobody is doing that on a large scale, but even recycled products are eventually going to have to be disposed of, or torn apart and the raw materials reclaimed for re-use. So far at least, doing the latter for EV li-ion batteries isn’t cost-effective. Lithium is too cheap (and isn’t highly toxic), altho I would hope that eventually at least the cobalt will be reclaimed for reuse.

Whiny loser.

Someone has to take the lead position from behind from FCA.

Pure Electric cars as opposed to hybrid have a huge problem that makes them not ready to replace most families main car. In a power outage your gas powered car gives you transportation and if needed heat or cooling. An electric car has a huge problem when an area gets hit with a massive 3 or 4 day power outage

In my experience, my generator was still able to charge my car without an issue. Granted, I drive a volt, so it wasn’t necessary, but since the power was out I wanted to test it and see how well it would work in this very scenario. A big problem, though, is that without electricity, gas station pumps don’t work. At least EVs aren’t picky on where their electricity comes from, while ICE cars need refined gasoline from the pump.

Except when you have to flee an incoming hurricane (EG Florida) and the lines at the gas/diesel stations start forming. That’s when having your EV topped off nightly comes in really handy. And there’s always generators and solar panels.

“I filled my tank the night before, I’ll see you in 1100km when I run out of fuel…” There’s no killer argument in this sort of discussion. In some circumstances one is better, in other circumstances the other is. Some ICE vehicles were running out of fuel when the wildfires hit Fort McMurray in 2016, but most BEV’s would have run out of power before hitting Edmonton too.

Which is going to be better in an ice storm when the power is out for entire towns? The fuel station can power itself and fuel hundreds of ICE vehicles a day with a generator. The BEV owner is going to have to find their own generator to slowly charge up their own.

If redundancy is really required then perhaps a PHEV is the best option. No fuel/big queues? Use electric. No Electric? Use petrol.

I’ve never seen a gas station open during a blackout. If the power is out long enough, you’ll have a problem getting gasoline and diesel too. When the power is out for more than a day or two in an ice storm, most people are hunkering down anyway. If I had a BEV, I’d be powering my house with it and not the other way around.

The average ~200 mile EV holds enough watts to keep a residence on, for two days. Could a gas car do that? Will it save your food, and prevent the need for that “Generac”? Can it charge, while buying food to put in a fridge?

Looks like Workhorse may not going to deliver those W-15s to the utilities as promised, but soon some version of “mobile storage” (~40 usable) will arrive.

Yeah, I use my two cars to power my refrigerators/freezers intermittently when the power goes out…. Since they’re well insulated, they don’t have to run all the time and its quite amazing how LITTLE juice you actually absolutely need to prevent food spoilage. I have direct gas heaters for the first floor, but the inverters run off the car can also run the furnace blower for a while to get the ‘gas heat’ up to the second floor. MY BOLT ev, when fully charged, can intermittently run the absolutely necessary stuff for around a week. I can cook with the gas cooktop, and Tv’s, and radios don’t draw anything to speak of these days. The Internet will be out since my cable company has no backup power for the repeaters – baring driving to someplace that doesn’t have an outage. That’s one advantage of a BEV – it can be a ‘portable power station’ since you can drive it to a working public charger – and if you’re lucky enough to find one available, charge up a bit, then drive it back home and have more emergency power. But then many people, myself included have a small, 1500 watt gasoline… Read more »

Gas stations need electric power to pump gas.
Maybe you could mandate they get at least one hand pump, so your gas car isn’t stranded if you’re so worried.

Or, you get a BMW i3 REX and Solar panels. And avoid the problem altogether.

So they are waiting for EVs but investing with Toyota in completely pointless fuel cell technology ….

For something like a Landcruiser Fuel Cell is probably the better option in the short-medium term. Whether it’s currently practical or not is another thing entirely!

BEV with current (and predicted future tech) is not going to solve all transportation issues.

Because Africa will soon have multi billion fuel cell infrastructure and Africans will happily pay $12/gallon equivalent?

Right! All those remote areas in the Sahara without access to grid power will of course be prime locations for building hydrogen fueling stations, at a cost of $1 million per dozen cars served per day, so they can sell fuel at between 2 and 3 times the cost of gasoline! What a brilliant plan!
😆 😆 😆

No, because companies can ship in large containers of hydrogen to fuel up their fleets at their remote basecamps, or people can carry more fuel with them when driving around. With BEV that same company would have to ship in multiple huge generators (and power them with something – petrol?) to charge up their fleets every night.

The benefit of ICE right now is it’s simple to bring in a large tank of petrol/diesel and fuel up vehicles quickly and efficiently, with a single tanker truck/a few tons of fuel able to fuel up a large number of vehicles for a week or more. It’s light per unit of energy and storage containers are also light and (relatively) compact. Adding another few hundred miles of range is as simple as another 40kg and a couple of jerry cans attached to the side of a vehicle.

Hydrogen isn’t as practical, but it’s vastly more practical than electric for this application.

Certainly not practical! Where would you drive a fuel cell Landcruiser (or any fuel cell car)? Only around a handful of towns in the entire world. Anywhere else and the car won’t run. Drive away from your small handful of California towns, such as a trip into the country, and if you run out of Hydrogen, you are out of luck. Your car is dead and no one can revive it until you can get it back home. Call for a 200 mile tow–that’s your only choice. How can anyone think this makes for a usable car?

You have to become very, very good at ignoring reality to be a fool cell fanboy. Sadly, a few of the Usual Suspects here have managed that rather difficult feat. 🙁

Or live in a world that doesn’t revolve around a daily commute from a city to office.

Where do you think most of the natural resources come from that are in the batteries? It usually starts with a small camp somewhere remote, with people sleeping in tents, mapping and surveying hundreds of miles from the nearest electrical source. It then builds into larger basecamps and exploratory mines before finally becoming that large mine with significant infrastructure you see in the photos. The latter could support significant BEV vehicles (see the electric Landcruiser application in mines – great idea), but the former two stages are not practical for BEV’s right now (or in the foreseeable future).

How much is 300-1000 miles of high voltage electrical cable, or that large portable solar array you need to set up next to your tent to charge your car? Not everyone that works has access to mains electricity.

Keep thinking much and you’ll be too late.

Correct, Lexus has nary a clue, they have been comfortable too long in their position and swallowed the company line that evs are just not ready. Fact of the matter is they were not ready and still aren’t. I suppose when their sales continue to fall they may decide to get ready.

Here is another way to look at this: whenever there is a fundamental shift over an entire market, it’s rare for the old manufacturers to transition from the old way or product to the new. It has happened time after time after time and many of these executives can see the writing on the wall.

I drove a 2001 Lexus RX300 for 14 years. I really enjoyed everything about the vehicle. Our local Lexus service center is 2nd to none. I also traded in for the newer RX350 a couple years ago. At the time, I did not realize how far electric cars had come. On a whim, I decided to test drive a BMW i3. I loved the car so much that I was happy take a hit on the new RX350. I traded it in and currently still drive the i3. I’m currently waiting for my Tesla Model 3 Performance. My wife has a similar story to mine. She drove the ES300 for over a decade. For her, she really likes the full 360 degree cameras that came with the Nissan Leaf. She traded her Lexus in early for the 2018 Leaf as soon as it was in stock locally. If Lexus does not offer some fully electric cars soon it may be too late for them. While I don’t believe any electric car out there has the feel of luxury and refinement that I always loved Lexus for… I’m sure it’s only a matter of time. Had they offered a fully electric… Read more »

Bye bye Lexus and Toyota, not really gonna miss you. Like Daimler you went ahead of the curve initially with Tesla but then got cold feet. You wimped out because the Tesla engineers were too empowered and nimble and not rigid and moribund. The RAV4 EV could have been great but without quick charging it was doomed like the Daimler Mercedes EV. So… to look good you jumped in… maybe to try sincerely to be an advanced car company, but when the going got tough for Tesla you wimps bailed. Now you are desperately stalling and playing catchup simultaneously. Were you to reinvest in Tesla/Panasonic and buy powertrains and SuperCharger network shares from them you could be back on top in short order. But alas… you folks would rather have the NIH syndrome win out… Not Invented Here. Sad… but the auto industry has been sandbagging us all for too long. Tesla is the proof of that. Field servicing… killing off the ugly dealer nets and other parasitic businesses. All innovations that any other car co could have done decades ago… and none would. So… just keep resting on those laurels… bye…

Because they are selling hybrids, they are against Electric.

BTW, can we get some hydrogen gas from the back of Mr. Sawa for their Fuecel vehicles.
At least they sold 11 million hybrids which cut down the gas consumption by 30 – 50 %. Hope they hit the 12 million mark soon.

Their only Plugin is Prius and that is not selling as much as we expected.

The Japanese will wait for others to spend on EV R&D and commercialization of said tech. It’s doubtful they have any choice as their ability to innovate leapfrog technologies is doubtful if history is a guide. They’ll copy what they can and form cartels in an attempt to drive the originators out of business. Their mistake is:

1. This isn’t the 50s, 60s, and 70s where they had a low wage labor advantage (China has that now but it’s also decreasing as an advantage for them) and a US less likely to tolerate mercantilism since there is no USSR threat.

2. SW enables faster iteration of new capabilities that they cannot keep up with. That is, they cannot copy a foundation as with ICE vehicles and make incremental changes over 50 yrs to remain competitive. Tech changes too fast nowadays. Copying what’s current means you produce what’s old.

Are you living in the 70s or something? Japan moved from copycats to global technology leaders like half a century ago.

Yes, most of the Japanese car makers failed to see the writing on the wall regarding EVs — as have most non-Japanese car makers. No nationalist BS needed here.

Nope they’ve licensed majority of tech from US, Europe. Their advantage was on the manufacturing end not invention.

Has this guy driven a Tesla? I’ve certainly driven a Lexus, and no matter the powerplant, a noisy gas motor is not luxurious. One of my friends is replacing her Lexus RX with a Tesla. She won’t be the last, certainly.

Man, this guy dismissing EV’s sounds a lot like Blockbuster Video saying that internet streaming sites like Netflix will never catch on. Or Kodak film claiming that digital film will never be popular. Or Sears failing to evolve their mailing catalog for the internet age, where they could’ve been like Amazon.

I agree. The electric car push is happening too soon FOR LEXUS.

HEV/PHEV are a good use of batteries to reduce oil consumption and clean the air.

As they say, “Sh!t or get off the pot”. We don’t need more FUD spread by auto companies who are behind in the technology. There’s enough going around from other sources as it is.

People keep saying how Tesla’s days are numbered, because as soon as the large car companies start mass producing electric cars, it is all over.

Then I read statements from the various auto CEOs like this, and realize that Tesla has nothing to worry about from a majority of these companies. They aren’t serious about EVs and won’t be for years.

But that can change quickly.

Look at how Marchionne changed his tune. And how quickly Jaguar came up with the absolutely brilliant I-Pace.

The only thing that will haunt the holdouts like Toyota is batteries: where are you going to get them in the volumes required once you start being serious about EV’s?

Prius & Camry hybrids already use lithium batteries. The next-gen RAV4 hybrid will likely as well. Prime (obviously) does too. Think about how much volume that is already. How many kWh are being delivered compared to automakers with EV, but only a small quantity?

Toyota’s white night to the rescue….

I’m scratching my head trying to understand why Japanese car makers outside of the PSA Group are standing by on this issue while next door neighbors China and South Korea are already pushing hard. European companies also already have plans for BEV to meet stricter EU emission requirements. That leaves Toyota, Honda and Subaru together with the American Big 3 as laggard s: GM with their token Bolt EV, Ford still mum on any concrete plan and Chrysler still clueless.

PSA Group? I think you meant the RNM Alliance 🙂

South Korea is pushing hard? I don’t know what kind of policies they have in place; but their only remaining car maker (Hyundai/Kia) is only making compliance EVs so far… (Albeit surprisingly good ones.)

BTW, Chrysler, as part of FCA, is definitely among the laggards — but at least they announced some concrete plans recently…

“…they aren’t going to leap into the electric car market any time soon. He believes that staying until the customer and environmental benefits are clear is a good way to go about the whole electric car thing.”

That reads very much like Eastman Kodak’s approach to the digital camera revolution, circa 1998. One could characterize the attitude of Kodak in that period thus: “We aren’t going to leap into the digital camera market any time soon. We believe that staying with film cameras until the benefits to consumers are clear, and the cameras can be made affordably, is a good way to go about the whole digital camera thing.”

Hey, how is Eastman Kodak doing these days? 😉

That is a terrible analogy. Kodak said “no”. Lexus is saying “not yet” while at the same time the parent company (Toyota) is investing in EV tech. Think about how many electric-motors and lithium-batteries that Toyota delivers each year already.

Too little too late

Meritless rhetoric. Sales of plug-in cars have barely just begun.

For some, and not at all for others..LOL

I suspect that he is more correct than the the typical writer/commenter on this sight thinks.

Don’t any of you play poker? We know Toyota/Lexus is holding a good hand. Just because they don’t have a “plan” doesn’t mean they don’t intend to play. Notice how others push, but it ends up just being a bluff?

Look at the technology already deployed in Prius Prime. They have delivered an affordable system that returns incredible EV efficiency. Who cares if the range is currently short? Adding more cell-stacks is trivial compared to cost-reduction and operational improvements. High-Volt production of those components and refinement of related software & controllers is well underway.

Have any of you actually looked at the hybrid system being delivered in the 2019 RAV4 hybrid? Think about the power potential with that configuration in something like a Prius CUV (the rumored replacement for the current Prius wagon).

This group thrives on announcements from token & future efforts, yet they expressed deep disappointment & upset for industry advancements that aren’t obvious. Shouldn’t we expect more from those here? Why is there so much praise for range & speed at the expense of not giving substantive attention to design?



Your frustration w/Toyota is showing. Take it up with them.

Hate Lexus overprice Toyota

For the planet, it is getting late in the game. 9 million people die every year cuz of air pollution. Healthcare and cancer are on the rise! Plus look how complicated ICE motors have become as they are maxing out. Euro7 is around the corner.

2,300 miles from the most recent tank with my Prime. 85% of that was EV driving. Measure at the pump calculated to 250 MPG. It represents a remarkable reduction of air-pollution, despite having a gas engine.

A key to this approach is the battery-pack is relatively small. That supports simplistic recharging, a huge benefit to those without high-amp connections to b plug into. It also addresses current production constraints and lack of public chargers. Reaching large numbers of consumers as quickly as possible is very important, since vehicles will remain in service for a decade.