Lexus has officially joined the premium electric crossover fray. From just offering hybrid-electrics, the luxury brand is now also offering purely electric automobiles. Serving as Lexus' first-ever battery-electric vehicle (BEV) is the all-new UX300e.
Making its world debut at this year's Guangzhou International Automobile Exhibition, the UX300e keeps the familiar design and features of a standard UX, but benefits from zero emissions technology, and instantaneous acceleration from its electric motor.
Powering the electric UX is a 54.3 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. It drives a front-mounted electric motor which provides 204 PS along with 300 Nm of torque. It has a maximum cruising range of 400 based on WLTP standards and has a fast DC charging rate of 50 kW (standard AC charging is at 6.6 kW).
In order to simulate engine braking while slowing down, Lexus installed paddle shifters which comes with four levels of deceleration regeneration. This can also be used while driving in manual mode for those that prefer to manually 'shift gears' on the UX300e. The battery pack, meanwhile is equipped with a temperature management system which monitors its temperature in both low and high temperatures.
Drivers that want to remotely monitor and control certain functions of the UX300e will be glad to know it has a dedicated smartphone app. With it, they can check the battery's state of charge, driving range left, as well as turning on the automatic climate control system.
As for its design, you'd be hard pressed to find any differences between a standard UX and the all-new electric version. Beyond the UX300e badge at the back and the charging port on the right rear quarter panel, Lexus' first-production EV looks as cool as the engine-powered UX. Even the onboard controls and overall design of the cabin is relatively the same apart from the shift-by-wire system on the center console.
The all-new UX300e is scheduled to be available in the Chinese and European markets in 2020, and in Japan in early 2021. But will it be available here? There is a possibility but there needs to be more EV charging infrastructure in order for it to be viable locally.