Skip to main content

Lexus may be releasing the world’s longest-range EV

Forget hybrid cars — Lexus is focused on EVs

Lexus EV concept

After long dominating the hybrid market Toyota, or at least one of its subsidiaries, has set its sights on the burgeoning world of electric cars. If all goes to plan, the Japanese company’s luxury line, Lexus, could have the longest-range electric vehicle on the market in a few years’ time, as it becomes less focused on Lexus hybrid cars.

Lexus has dipped its toes in the lithium-laced waters of the electric vehicle market before — but its efforts have been a little underwhelming. Its RZ 450e does come with 308 horsepower, but it takes the crossover 5 seconds to go from 0 to 60, which is fairly pedestrian by EV standards. Worse yet is the range, a major sticking point for many EV naysayers. The RZ Premium maxes out at 220 miles, which is below par for a modern EV and pretty bad for a supposed luxury option.

Still, that range could almost triple by 2026 if the main feature of the LF-ZC (Lexus Future Zero-emission Catalyst) concept hits the road. Toyota unveiled the Lexus electric car at the 2023 Japan Mobility Show — alongside the new battery tech that could make it happen. The LF-ZC is also significantly sportier than a crossover — but the predicted range is so outlandish that the same batteries could provide a class-leading distance on any platform.

Toyota promises “approximately twice the range of conventional BEV” thanks to its new battery architecture. Some outlets, including Reuters, are pegging that figure at 1,000 km — or around 620 miles. This means the vehicle will go around 100 miles further than the current longest-range EV you can buy.

Lexus EV batteries concept

Solid-state batteries are a game changer

So far, increasing vehicle range has, for the most part, been both a crude and simple process. Do you want to go further? You cram more batteries into your vehicle. Motor efficiency, minor advances in battery tech, and other factors play into it — but manufacturers have tended to take the easy route on their longer-range vehicles. This adds weight to the vehicle, which ultimately affects performance, and it also bumps up the price.

Toyota and a few other manufacturers are taking a different route. They’re developing “solid-state battery technology.” Solid-state batteries have around twice the energy density of the lithium-ion cells EVs and other tech currently uses. This means you can get twice the distance, from the same weight of batteries. They’re also more durable than current cells, thermal runaway is less of a possibility, and they’re less prone to damage when used in extremely hot or cold environments.

But the Japanese auto giant may take the lead on this one. Vehicles using its “prismatic high-performance batteries” are scheduled to enter production in 2026. Other manufacturers seem to be predicting either 2027 or 2028 as the year their solid-state tech will hit the street. So if you were sick of the Prius utterly dominating the hybrid market over the past couple of decades, it’s time to buckle up. We seem to be in for an even longer ride.

Editors' Recommendations

Dave McQuilling
Dave has spent pretty much his entire career as a journalist; this has included jobs at newspapers, TV stations, on the…
Someone made a running Tesla Cybertruck out of wood, and it looks better than the real thing
This Tesla has fewer panel gaps
Wooden replica of the Tesla Cybertruck

The Tesla Cybertruck still hasn’t officially hit the road after years of delays, but a small YouTube channel in Vietnam seems to have produced a more natural version in a little over three months. ND-WoodArt has managed to make a functional, drivable, scaled-down version of the controversial vehicle. It consists of a metal frame, which gives the general shape, and a whole bunch of wooden panels and trim pieces. Even the vehicle’s hub caps are made of wood.

It also contains a series of batteries along with a set of motors that allow it to drive. Admittedly, the lead-acid batteries used haven’t got the range or power delivery of the lithium-ion cells that the Cybertruck will use. Similarly, the motors are a little less beefy. Judging by the video, it is about as quick as the average golf cart.

Read more
Hyundai and Amazon team up for online car sales (and no, you can’t get your car via Prime)
Hyundai and Amazon just made it super easy to buy a new car
2024 Hyundai Ioniq 6 parked outside.

If you shop on Amazon for guitar strings, luggage, and electronics, how do you feel about buying your next car on the mega e-commerce platform? At the 2023 Los Angeles Auto Show, Amazon and Hyundai Motor Company jointly announced an online sales collaboration beginning in 2024. Other car brands come later, but Hyundai will be the first brand you can buy on Amazon.

The new strategic partnership has three facets: online vehicle sales, cloud services, and integrating Alexa in future Hyundais. Amazon will begin online sales of Hyundai models on Amazon Web Services (AWS) will be Hyundai's preferred provider of cloud services for the vehicle manufacturer's digital transformation. The two companies will work together to integrate Alexa voice response into Hyundai's driver infotainment and vehicle management system.
Find my car
Amazon's new partnership with Hyundai doesn't cut out auto dealerships. Dealers will be able to list on Amazon vehicles currently available for purchase.

Read more
Honda is selling a $995 drivable suitcase-size electric scooter we can’t tell if we love or hate
The Honda Motocompacto wants to solve last-mile e-mobility
Two people riding Honda Motocompacto escooters on a city street.

Honda has been slower than many manufacturers to sell battery electric vehicles in the U.S., only recently announcing the 2024 Honda Prologue EV. In an interesting but somewhat bewildering twist, Honda has introduced a second vehicle to the EV arena, an electric scooter. The Honda Motocompacto is a collapsible ride-on electric scooter you can order online today for $995. The orders will be fulfilled at select Honda and Acura dealers beginning in 2024.

If you first see Honda's new e-mobility device on the street, you might wonder if someone put a motor in a folded card table. If you ride one, you'll notice that there are no pedals. Despite first appearances, the Motocompacto isn't an e-bicycle; it's an e-scooter. The foot pegs are there to give you a place to rest your feet, not to propel the scooter.

Read more