After years of learning about electric propulsion while developing hybrid models for their cars, Lexus is finally offering a full electric Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV). The car is based on the popular cross over UX 300 and has been revealed at the Guangzhou International Automobile Exhibition in China. The car on display is a production version and looks exactly like the conventional UX 300 powered by an IC engine, spare the badges. However, the real changes are under the hood and the floor pan. The UX 300e, as the electric version is called will be offered to public in Europe and China in 2020 and Japan in 2021.
Electric cars are inherently more silent than IC engine vehicles. Hence the NVH of the UX 300e were much better than those of the UX 300. However, this led to a new and unique problem. Due to no noise from the propulsion plant, ambient noise like wind, gravel, tyre noise etc invaded the interiors. The engineers at Lexus had to work over time to improve the NVH of the vehicle further and keep the cabin silent. In addition to this, they also developed several new software technologies to develop an integrated system for control of power train, steering, suspension, and brakes to offer a unique driving experience. As a result, while driving, the driver can use the paddle shifters provided as braking to modulate the regenerative braking akin to using the gearbox for engine braking.
The UX 300e has its batteries, which are one of the heaviest components, placed low below the floorpan and in the center of the vehicle. This has led to a substantial improvement in the driving dynamics of the car. The suspension components and shock absorbers had to be modified to take on the extra weight. As electric motors offer maximum torque from start, the UX 300e offers an exhilarating acceleration and driving experience. Inside, the car has been installed with several features as a connected car. An app provided with the UX 300e lets the driver obtain information about the state of the battery, range to discharge as well as notifications for charging time and completion of charging. The app also allows for planning the charging based on the driving cycle and the next planned drive.
The car is powered by a single electric motor driving the front wheel. The motor produces 204 PS of power and 306 N-m of torque. The Li-ion battery pack has a capacity of 54.3 KW-H and gives a range of 400 Km to the Lexus UX 300e. It can uses a standard charger of 6.6 KW and a fast DC charger of 50 KW to charge the vehicle. With a fast charger, the car can be fully charged in a tad above one hour.