Toyota has entrusted its Lexus division with the responsibility of developing electric vehicles as part of its plan to become fully electric by 2035 in Europe. However, Lexus will continue to embrace hybrid vehicles alongside electric ones.
During a roundtable discussion with international media, Takashi Watanabe, the global head of Lexus, stated that the company will serve as the pioneer in electric car technology on behalf of Toyota. It will pursue both electric and hybrid options to achieve carbon neutrality.
Watanabe also acknowledged that electric cars may not be a convenient solution for low-emissions motoring in some nations. He confirmed that Toyota will not immediately discontinue the development of internal combustion engine vehicles.
As Toyota entrusts Lexus with taking down Tesla, it plans to copy some of Tesla’s production methods.
Lexus will introduce a new battery-powered sedan, potentially as a precursor to the IS replacement, and plans to use “gigacasting” to combine multiple structural components into one. This technique, pioneered by Tesla, will be implemented alongside a 600–800km battery range.
With its similar production technique, the Lexus sedan will be a direct rival to the Tesla Model 3.
Although opting for large casting may reduce the overall cost, it introduces concerns such as limited repairability. Tesla has already faced challenges with a high rejection rate of giga casts. According to Stuff, some owners of the Model 3 and the Model Y have reported metal cracks in their vehicles.
These casting failures compromise vehicle safety. However, due to infrequent inspections by many owners, they may go unnoticed for extended periods.
It’s important to note that giga casting is still in its early stages, and Toyota may adopt a slightly different approach from Tesla to ensure reliability. After all, reliability is central to Toyota’s brand.
Image Sources: Drive and PJ’s Glass Replacement, https://shorturl.at/bEV19