Lexus CEO Says EVs Are a 'Much More Complex Issue' Than We May Think

2019 Lexus ES
Photo: Lexus

Lexus hasn’t jumped into the electric vehicle frenzy like other automakers, and a new interview with the automaker’s CEO helps explain why. It’s simple really: EVs simply won’t meet the needs for everyone.

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In an interview with Autocar, Lexus boss Yoshihiro Sawa said that automakers can’t rely solely on electric powertrains and that the environmental impact of EVs requires some “careful” thought.

From Autocar:

“Our philosophy is to provide freedom of movement, so we have to develop technology on all fronts,” said Sawa. “We understand that electric is very necessary, but we can also see that full EV will not suit everyone. You can’t make an electric Land Cruiser work, for instance, and there are people in remote parts of the world whose lives depend on that car.

“EVs currently require a long charging time and batteries that have an environmental impact at manufacture and degrade as they get older. And then, when battery cells need replacing, we have to consider plans for future use and recycling. It’s a much more complex issue than the current rhetoric perhaps suggests. I prefer to approach the future in a more honest way.”

It’s a fair point, and really underscores just how heavy-handed some of the rhetoric from other automakers can be. Without legally-required mandates to produce EVs, automakers are going to produce cars at the market’s desire—and if the market dictates that it doesn’t want, or need, electric vehicles, that’ll be reflected by what shows up on the road 10-20 years down the line.

Fortunately, the Lexus chief says that even if the ground shifts due to EVs, the automaker has to keep one thing in mind:

We must never be boring.

Sounds like something all of us can get behind.

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About the author

Ryan Felton

Senior Reporter, Jalopnik/Special Projects Desk

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