Lexus has built its reputation and loyal following on its environmentally friendly fleet, selling its first hybrid vehicle more than 15 years ago.
Since then, in Australia the brand has sold close to 30,000 hybrids and more than 1.9 million worldwide, and the UX 300e electric SUV is the next step in the brand’s electrified future.
Lexus is expected to launch the UX 300e in Australia late next year about the same time as the Melbourne Cup carnival.
The arrival of the brand’s first electric car is part of the company’s ongoing plan to electrify its range.
Lexus plans to have an electrified version of every model by 2025 — most of which will be conventional hybrids. But there is likely to be a plug-in hybrid before then and the flagship electric LC sedans are set to arrive by 2030.
Lexus first unveiled the UX 300e in China in 2019 and the version we’ll get in Australia appears to be mechanically identical.
Power comes from an electric motor that makes 150kW and 300Nm and is combined with a 54.3kWh lithium-ion battery.
The battery can be recharged in as little as 50 minutes via a 50kW fast charger or takes about seven hours when connected to a household AC power point.
Lexus also claims the UX 300e will have a range of up to 400km.
The brand is set to include several special rewards as part of the ownership experience via its Encore program, with a preferred charging partner likely to be part of any such offering.
The UX’s compact size means it will most likely undercut the current crop of larger luxury electric SUVs on the market such as the Mercedes-Benz EQC and Audi e-tron, both of which sell for about $150,000.
Currently the most expensive UX model is the all-wheel drive 250h Hybrid, which is priced at about $71,000 drive-away, so don’t expect to see much change from $100,000 if you’re shopping for the UX 300e.