By Sandy Myhre
This is a first for Lexus – an all-electric vehicle in the luxury car segment. It’s the UX300e, a car built as a car first and foremost and not as an electric car according Neeraj Lala, CEO of Toyota New Zealand.
It sits alongside the Lexus Hybrid. In fact, looking at the sales figures for the past year, the Hybrid represents 50% of the Lexus model lineup and now, with the BEV (battery electric vehicle) in the lineup the electric vehicle is expected to match that initially and then exceed it.
It means consumers are keen on the all-electric model. The government’s rebate that it attracts is possibly an incentive but there’s a growing awareness that all-electric vehicles is the way to go, particularly for city commuters.
A 54kWh lithium-ion air-cooled battery under the cabin floor delivers a range of 360kms which is substantial. There are three methods of charging – the home version is a wall box which retails for $3,140. Then there’s the trickle charge option (using your home’s standard power supply) which takes 24 hours to charge from flat and there’s the Direct Current (DC) fast charging unit which takes 80 minutes from flat.
The UX 300e maintains the luxury interior features of the current UX model. There are two models – the UX 300e and the UX 300e Limited, which has extra features such as bigger wheels (up from 17 to 18 inch), triple LED headlights with adaptive high-beam, and a hands-free power back door.
The UX 300e standard grade has two NuLux synthetic leather options while the Limited grade has leather options. Both variants also have front and rear seat heaters and front seat ventilation. The air conditioning system can also be set to optimise efficiency while the front seat heating is on, improving power conservation.
The UX 300e has a 13-speaker Mark Levinson sound system coupled with a 10.3-inch display and Apple Car Play and Android Auto.
Lexus UX 300e Limited $79,900 RRP including on road costs.