Lexus’ first fully electric car is coming to New Zealand

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Words: Matthew Hansen
3 May 2021

The local arm for Lexus has confirmed that the marque’s first fully electric car is heading to New Zealand showrooms later this year.

The new electrified model is the UX 300e, joining the compact crossover UX line-up as a new flagship for the relatively short-lived nameplate.

“Lexus has chosen the UX platform as the first of its range to carry the much-awaited pure electric technology. As the smallest Lexus SUV, this makes the UX300e an accessible luxury battery electric SUV,” says Lexus New Zealand General Manager Andrew Davis.

“The UX 300e is the first of many new electrified Lexus models which will ultimately contribute to the decarbonisation of our national vehicle fleet — a key objective of the NZ government.”

The UX 300e utilises an electric motor producing 150kW of power and 300Nm of torque, it comes paired to a 54.3kWh lithium-ion battery, with Lexus claiming a 400km range per charge.

Davis does not expect Lexus buyers to switch to the new electrified option immediately. Rather, he tips a more gradual switch. It should be noted that a hybrid version of the UX, the UX 250h, is already on sale in New Zealand.

“We don’t see an immediate jump to BEV for all drivers. We expect that as Lexus drivers upgrade over time, they will continue to purchase vehicles that meet their needs,” he says.

“Our role is to be able to provide these vehicles in the most fuel efficient and low carbon-emitting way.”

That said, Lexus New Zealand notes that sales of hybrid models in the first quarter of this year have increased by 168 per cent since 2018 (that’s just three years ago). In 2021 so far, seven out of every 10 Lexus’ sold locally have been a hybrid.

The move is another piece of the puzzle in the premium and luxury segment. BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Jaguar, Volvo, and new Lexus all either have a fully electric model in their line-up or have one on the way.

Pricing for the UX 300e has yet to be confirmed, but expect it to play in a similar pricing sandpit to the Mercedes-Benz EQA. It lands in New Zealand in June, and will be priced from $85,500.

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