Lexus has finally entered the electric vehicle market with its new EV SUV the UX 300e. This is the first electric vehicle ever produced by the company and now online reservation are open. It will be starting at £43,900 for the basic UX grade model. Customers can also specify either of two option packs: Premium Plus, taking the anticipated price to £47,400, and Takumi, at £53,500.
The EV is based on the hybrid best-seller 300h. The new model qualifies for a 0% benefit-in-kind rate for 2020/2021 and just one per cent in 2021/2022, like all EVs. With no CO2 emissions, there is also no Vehicle Excise Duty to pay. Notably, the UX 300e is currently the only premium SUV that meets the eligibility criteria for the £3,000 plug-in vehicle grant from OLEV, the Government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles.
The UX 300e is powered by a generous 150kW electric motor and is equipped with a 54.3kWh lithium-ion battery. The system produces a maximum 300 Nm of torque and enables acceleration from zero to 62mph in 7.5 seconds. The driving range on a full charge is expected to be up to 196 miles. Using a 50kW DC charger, an 80 per cent charge should take 52 minutes to complete.
This new model represents a step towards the future for the company as Lexus will start to build fully electric vehicles alongside its hybrid options, according to Ewan Shepherd, Director of Lexus in the UK.
“Lexus has unparalleled experience in electrified vehicle technology, having been a pioneer in the global premium market since the launch of the RX 400h SUV in 2004, the world’s first luxury hybrid,” he said. “We will continue to develop the performance of our self-charging hybrid technology, offering our extensive range of models alongside new, all-electric vehicles, led by the new UX 300e.”
Lexus is a close synonym for luxury, so this all-electric model will come with many premium features including Lexus Safety System+, Bi-LED headlights with Automatic High Beam, heated, power-adjustable front seats, front and rear parking sensors, reversing camera, illuminated entry, smartphone integration, power steering wheel adjustment, automatic wipers, 17-inch alloy wheels and aluminium roof rails. We already reported on its industry-leading 10-year, million-kilometre battery warranty.
The model, being based on the hybrid sister, has very similar dimensions. However, it is just a bit smaller in length, although it will be part of the same market segment that includes the Mercedes-Benz GLB and the Jeep Cherokee.
The UX 300e is supposed to be delivered to customers in March 2021 and at WhichEV, we cannot wait to test-drive the first all-electric vehicle from Lexus.