Thanks to their extensive fleet of hybrid powered vehicles, Lexus already seem to have an enviable position when it comes to low-emissions, however, the new UX 300e marks their bold next step towards ‘zero emissions’ in New Zealand.
Andrew Davis, Lexus New Zealand’s General Manager, says the first all-electric Lexus is the epitome of luxurious and emission-free driving.
“Lexus is aiming to decarbonise its portfolio as part of an overall commitment to reduce our impact on climate change. The new UX 300e is the first model of many new and exciting electric vehicles we will see from Lexus over the next few years.”
Mr Davis says it’s exciting to now offer for sale the marque’s first battery electric vehicle (BEV).
“Lexus already has one of the lowest overall CO2 emission averages due to the high proportion of hybrid electric vehicles we sell. The new BEV UX 300e is the first of many more, new electrified Lexus models which will ultimately contribute to the decarbonisation of our national vehicle fleet,” Mr Davis says.
Luxury car marque Lexus already has over 15 years of pioneering electrified cars under their belt and a full BEV was inevitably the obvious progression and to be perfectly frank, we here at Tarmac Life feel that the UX is a great choice – we’re big fans. The UX 300e marries all the rich features, premium interiors, and superior performance of a Lexus with a battery powered electric motor.
Neeraj Lala Chief Executive Officer at Toyota New Zealand Limited says, “It’s a luxury Lexus before being an EV.”
Davis adds, “[The UX 300e] Built for a mostly urban driver in mind, the UX 300e provides an enjoyable and sustainable city driving experience.”
Clever engineering and design of the UX 300e has resulted in a virtually unaltered driving experience compared to the hybrid electric edition – only the quiet and seamless acceleration of the sole electric motor identifies the UX 300e as a battery electric vehicle.
“Featuring both AC and DC charging ports, drivers will have the flexibility to switch between overnight home charging or fast charging while out and about. This really is un-plug and play driving.” Davis says.
The Lexus UX 300e harnesses over a decade of unrivalled Lexus expertise in electric motor, battery and energy management development, producing a flagship UX that combines brave design with energetic performance and agile dynamics.
With a 54kWh lithium-ion battery under the cabin floor and an approximate 360km driving range, the UX 300e offers another electrified option to the existing Lexus SUV range of hybrid-electric, petrol, petrol-turbo, and diesel engines, offering a range of powertrain options to meet the needs of its customers who, like typical Kiwi drivers, use their vehicles in a variety of ways and locations.
With regards to the ‘smaller’ battery size, Davis says that it’s a balance, that although large capacity/range batteries reduce anxiety they require a high carbon input to produce and most users don’t require huge km ranges. Also, the smaller battery size makes for zero compromise in interior space.
The all-electric UX 300e offers maximum power of 150kW and 300Nm of torque, incorporating a high-output motor and a battery. Like most BEVs on the market, the acceleration experience of the UX 300e is 0 to 100kms in 7.5 seconds. This is faster than the hybrid electric or petrol UX despite the slight extra weight (160kg) from the battery. A rear performance damper has also been fitted to enhance the driving performance.
While the UX 300e is a completely electric powered car, it retains the UX options of driving settings, including eco, normal and sport modes. These modes enable the driver to select different powertrain and steering settings depending on the road conditions.
Lexus took full advantage of using the UX as the base for the 300e. As well as maintaining its driving experience and stability, removing the hybrid electric powertrain and fuel tanks has given the 300e more usable space – increasing luggage capacity to 310L from the hybrid electric’s 268L.
With the all-electric UX 300e, Lexus takes its ‘Lexus Electrification’ vision to the next level. However, first and foremost, this is a Lexus, and expresses the marque’s qualities of design, technology, takumi craftsmanship and omotenashi – luxurious hospitality.
The UX 300e maintains all 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 – White Ash and Black. While the Limited grade has leather options of Rich Cream, Ochre, and Zephyr Blue – all three are accented with Sashiko quilting on the front seats.
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. Other standard safety features include the complete Lexus Safety System +, blind spot monitor, parking support brake and a tyre pressure warning system. The Limited comes with a host of extras such as roof rails, rear privacy glass, sunroof, rain sensing wipers, cornering lights, rear stabiliser bar and a head-up display.
Behind the scenes, a dedicated air conditioning system and heater elements actively manages the high voltage battery to keep it at an ideal temperature during driving or charging and optimise its performance and service life. And the UX 300e enjoys an extension to the New Vehicle Warranty that covers the Electric Drive Motor High Voltage Battery for 8 years or 160,000km and covers failure or abnormal capacity degradation above 30%.
Eligible buyers of the UX 300e will be able to access the New Zealand Government’s Clean Car Discount meaning that it qualifies for a rebate of $8,625. The standard model will be offered directly to fleet customers only. The Limited model will be available for purchase through Lexus’ retail channels. The base (fleet) model is available on an Op/Lease basis while the new Lexus UX300e Limited is priced at $79,900 RRP including on road costs.