Lexus to lead Toyota's push for next-generation EVs, says incoming CEO

Sato said Toyota would step up its battery-electric offerings. — Reuters

TOKYO: Toyota Motor Corp will use its Lexus luxury brand to lead a pivot towards next-generation battery electric vehicles, Koji Sato, its incoming chief executive, said today.

Sato, who takes over as the next head of the world's largest automaker from April 1, made the comment at a news conference here, his first since being introduced as the successor to outgoing chief Akio Toyoda last month.

The automaker has faced criticism that it has been late to embrace battery electric vehicles, in favour of hybrids and hydrogen technology. It has long said that different markets need different technologies for the drive to zero emissions.

Sato said that while the company's thinking that it needed to offer multiple options to consumers had not changed at all, it would accelerate its battery-electric offerings.

An engineer by training, Sato started his career at Toyota in 1992 before rising through the ranks to become chief engineer of Lexus International in 2016.

While he oversaw the creation of Lexus's first fully electric model, he has previously spoken of keeping open other options for powering vehicles.
Autos Toyota