Many auto brands can be described as EV laggards, but Lexus has gone beyond that, and positioned itself as an active EV opponent. Although Lexus has been producing a wide range of hybrids for years, it has aired not one, but at least two ad campaigns that ridicule plug-in vehicles. A third campaign made such outrageous claims that it was banned by Norway’s consumer protection agency.
Now the Japanese luxury brand has announced a baby step towards electrification with the UX 300e, an electric crossover that “will be introduced to selected markets in Europe by the end of the year.”
The UX 300e is powered by a newly developed 54.3 kWh battery, located under the cabin floor and rear seat. Lexus says the range will be 400 km on the (notoriously inaccurate) NEDC cycle, or 300 km on the (newer and more accurate) WLTP cycle.
Sensors monitor the voltage and temperature of each of the 288 battery cells. Lexus has developed a battery cell air-cooling system which it says is safer and lighter than water-cooled systems. Heating elements under each battery module are designed to minimize the impact of cold weather on driving range.
The UX 300e’s all-new drivetrain includes a 150 kW (204 DIN hp) electric motor driving the front wheels. Top speed is expected to be 160 km/h, and 0-100 km acceleration is quoted at 7.5 seconds.