Hybrid-EVs are the way forward, says Lexus India head

S Ronendra Singh New Delhi | Updated on January 18, 2018 Published on January 15, 2018

N Raja, Chairman, Lexus India, at the launch of hybrid electric sedan Lexus LS 500h in New Delhi on Monday. The vehicle is priced at ₹1.77-1.94 crore across three variants   -  Kamal Narang

Japanese luxury carmaker Lexus said on Monday it wants to set an example in India in the electric vehicles (EVs) space by launching hybrid vehicles. As a technology, hybrids are today’s most viable solution, although expensive, it said.

“It’s very encouraging to see the governmentdriving electrification in the country. It is a multi-solution journey. We believe the government will become technology neutral or technology agnostic because the new technology will enable us to pursue electrification and accelerate it,” Vince Socco, Executive Vice-President, Lexus Asia Pacific, told BusinessLine on the sidelines of a launch here.

He said hybrid-EVs are today’s solution, as it saves the environment, and a lot of governments, including India, are working for cleaner air. For instance, Toyota Prius saves 1 tonne of carbon dioxide every year, Socco said.

That is why every company, including Toyota-Lexus, is working on battery technology — how to make it lighter and give better range.

“We are looking at different technologies from lithium to others, which is under study right now, but have no definite time as to when it will be available. That is what we are looking at because battery of course is the costliest part right now,” he said.

“We have technology and products, but the only thing is how to make them affordable,” said N Raja, Chairman of Lexus India. “That is where we are seeking support from the government.”

He expressed hope the government will give the right to technology for mass consumption.

Battery cost

“A lot of research is going on on the solid state of batteries — that can reduce the weight and make it affordable with higher operating range,” Raja said.

Lexus India launched its flagship sedan LS500h, priced at ₹1.77-1.94 crore (ex-showroom). Bookings started on Monday and will be delivered by April.

While the base (Luxury Grade) variant is priced at ₹1,77 crore, the mid variant (Ultra Luxury Grade) is priced at ₹1.82 crore and the top variant (Distinct Grade) is priced at ₹ 1.94 crore (all ex-showroom prices).

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Published on January 15, 2018
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