By TAKESHI NARABE/ Staff Writer
April 21, 2022 at 17:06 JST
Toyota Motor Corp.’s Lexus RZ is the first electric vehicle-only model from its luxury brand. (Provided by Toyota Motor Corp.)
Toyota Motor Corp. is plugging into the luxury electric vehicle (EV) market with its all-new Lexus RZ, the first EV-only model from its high-end brand, the automaker announced on April 20.
By 2030, the global automaker seeks to have all Lexus cars sold in Europe, North America and China be EVs.
The Lexus RZ, which was developed exclusively as an electric vehicle model, is an SUV type, which is popular worldwide, with up to a 450-kilometer cruising range on a full charge.
Toyota plans to roll out the EV model in winter or after, and will announce the price and sales areas later on.
Currently, the Lexus brand is sold mainly in the North American, Chinese and European markets. Those countries and regions account for more than 80 percent of the sales units.
Among those areas, electric vehicles also have been increasing in popularity, so Toyota is hoping to start making inroads with its Lexus RZ.
In December, the automaker announced the target of increasing its worldwide EV sales to 3.5 million units in 2030.
Of these, the Lexus brand is planned to account for 1 million units, leading the automaker's EV sales.
Toyota has also set a goal of having all Lexus vehicles sold around the world to be electrically powered by 2035.
EVs currently have a limited market, as the prices are higher due to their expensive batteries. However, it is said that consumers who choose a luxury vehicle are more likely to be able to afford the high EV sticker prices.
Toyota plans to join the growing ranks of automakers who are fully committing to the EV market. Audi AG, affiliated with Volkswagen AG of Germany, and Mercedes-Benz AG plan to turn all their cars into EVs by 2026 and by 2030, respectively.
That changeover is expected to fuel fierce competition in EV sales in the luxury vehicle market.
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