All You Need to Know About Lexus Electric Cars

The Lexus RZ 450e will hit the market in late 2022, marking the brand’s first all-electric vehicle.
Written by Macy Fouse
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
May 23, 2022
The first
Lexus
electric vehicle—the RZ 450e—will be released in late 2022, but the brand plans on making an EV in every segment by 2030.
Lexus was a forerunner in the hybrid vehicle sector, releasing the RX400h way back in 2005. In fact, there are currently six hybrid Lexus models in the 2022 lineup—but no electric vehicles…yet. As more drivers are looking for eco-friendly gas alternatives, Lexus has big plans for an electric future. 
Want to know more about the upcoming Lexus EV?
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Does Lexus have electric cars?

Not yet. As of Spring 2022, the all-new and all-electric Lexus RZ 450e isn’t out yet—but the 2023 model is set to be released in late 2022. The RZ 450e will be the first of many electric vehicles for Lexus; in fact, Lexus manufacturer
Toyota
announced plans to make Lexus an electric-only brand by 2035

2023 Lexus RZ 450e

Starting price: Estimated $55,000
Powertrain: Two permanent-magnet synchronous AC motors (combined 308 hp/320 lb-ft torque); liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery; direct-drive transmission
Driving range: Estimated 225 miles
Charging time: Estimated 9 hours with Level 2 charger
The highly-anticipated RZ wagon-SUV-crossover model maintains the brand’s recognizable Lexus body design and ultra-chic cabin, complete with a floating roof and a ducktail spoiler. The RZ shares a platform with the Toyota bZ4X and
Subaru
Solterra, which includes a 65.6-kWh battery pack—though the RZ’s powertrain is more robust. The new Lexus RZ 450e includes all-wheel drive and a dual-motor powertrain producing 308 hp
To add to the high-tech vibe of the car, the RZ will come standard with a steer-by-wire system. In an edgy decision, Lexus will also offer a yoke-style steering wheel as an option, though a regular steering wheel will be the standard if you aren’t ready to enter that level of futuristic driving just yet.
The RZ’s notably minimal interior is absent of most dashboard buttons and switches. Instead, the majority of the controls are found in the huge infotainment touchscreen, which is a generous 14 inches. Don’t worry about juggling controls while driving, though—the system is also voice-controlled
The dash also includes a digital gauge display and a head-up display that projects your essential info right under your line of sight on the windshield. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also included. 
Of course, the RZ will come equipped with plenty of safety features, including:
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Lane-keeping assist
  • Automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
  • Lane-departure warning
  • Optional automatic parking
The top-notch Lexus warranty is the cherry on top: the limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles and the generous powertrain warranty covers six years or 70,000 miles—and the hybrid components will be covered for eight years or 100,000 miles. The warranty also includes complimentary maintenance for one year or 10,000 miles. 

How does the Lexus electric car compare to competitors?

While Lexus is a major player in the luxury vehicle segment, it’s the new kid on the block when it comes to electric vehicles—so how does the RZ 450e stack up against the competition?
That answer will largely depend on your priorities and preferences. 
Given that the RZ 450e is the brand’s first fully-electric car, it’s a solid vehicle. The cabin is predictably luxurious, the exterior is chic, and the dual motors pack a punch when compared to non-luxury EV competitors. That being said, its rivals in the luxury EV genre tend to offer a fuller package. 
That doesn’t mean the RZ 450e isn’t a worthy choice for a luxury electric vehicle, though. Let’s look at how it compares to the others in three main areas: range, performance, and long-term affordability

Driving range and charging time

An electric vehicle is only as good as its driving range, which is how far the car can go on one full charge. Charging time also determines how successful an EV is—and how easy it is to live with on a day-to-day basis.
When it comes to driving range, the RZ lands around the middle of its competitors with an estimated 225 miles. It beats out the
Audi e-Tron
and the
Volvo XC40
Recharge, and it doesn’t lag too far behind most of its other rivals—though most of them can’t keep up with the 300+ mile range of the
BMW iX
or the
Tesla Model X
As far as charging time goes, the RZ 450e again holds down its spot in the middle with a Level 2 charging time of around nine hours—though the RZ is one of the quicker chargers when using a DC fast-charger. 
Have a look for yourself. Here are the exact numbers for the Lexus EV compared to its main competition.
Model
Driving range
Charging time at 240 volts
Charging time w DC fast-charger
Lexus RZ 450e
~225 miles
~9 hours
0-80% in 30 min
BMW iX
324 miles
Under 12 hours
10-80% in 35 min
Genesis GV60
235-248 miles
10 hours
10-80% in 18 min
Audi e-Tron
204-222 miles
9 hours
0-80% in 30 min
Mercedes-Benz EQB
260 miles
11.25 hours
0-80% in 32 min
Volvo XC40 Recharge
223 miles
8 hours
10-80% in 32 min
Volvo C40 Recharge
225 miles
8 hours
0-80% in 40 min
Jaguar I-Pace
253 miles
8.6 hours
0-80% in 40 min
Tesla Model X
351-361 miles
10.5 hours
0-80% in 20 min (w/ Tesla supercharger)
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Performance

Does making the switch to an electric vehicle mean parting ways with performance? Let’s see how the RZ holds up in terms of power, speed, and reliability
Since the RZ hasn’t even hit the market yet, it’s too soon to determine how it’ll compare to others in its segment when it comes to reliability. That being said, Lexus generally lands pretty high in reliability rankings, and reliability can differ with EVs as much as standard engine vehicles.  
As for speed and power, the RZ 450e sits near the bottom of the list when stacked against the competition. The only competitor with less horsepower is the
Mercedes-Benz
EQB, though it out-ranks the RZ for torque; in fact, they all do. The RZ’s 5.5-second predicted 0-to-60 time is also the slowest of the crew.
Model
Max. horsepower
Max. torque
0-60 time
Lexus RZ 450e
308 hp
320 lb-ft
5.5 seconds
BMW iX
516 hp
564 lb-ft
4.0 seconds
Genesis GV60
483 hp
516 lb-ft
3.4 seconds
Audi e-Tron
402 hp
490 lb-ft
5.1 seconds
Mercedes-Benz EQB
288 hp
384 lb-ft
6.0 seconds
Volvo XC40 Recharge
402 hp
486 lb-ft
4.3 seconds
Volvo C40 Recharge
402 hp
487 lb-ft
4.3 seconds
Jaguar I-Pace
394 hp
512 lb-ft
4.3 seconds
Tesla Model X
532 hp
713 lb-ft
3.3 seconds

Cost of ownership

If you’re considering being one of the first to own a Lexus RZ 450e, you want to make sure you’re getting a solid deal. The official cost of the RZ hasn’t been released yet, but Car and Driver estimates a starting price of about $55,000. That means the RZ will be more affordable upfront than half of its competitors. 
Affordability comes down to more than just the price tag, though—especially with electric vehicles. EVs are generally more economical than standard engine vehicles when it comes to fuel and maintenance costs
Lexus vehicles are known to be more cost-efficient, too. When paired with federal tax credits and other
electric car incentives
, driving the RZ could save you a pretty penny on vehicle-related costs—though it’s hard to put hard numbers on exact savings this early. 
Let’s face it, though: the Lexus RZ will not be the
cheapest electric car
on the lot. It won’t even be the cheapest luxury EV crossover; that title goes to the Mercedes-Benz EQB with a starting price of $45,000. The next cheapest in the segment is the Volvo XC40 Recharge at $52,795. The RZ comes next, beating out the competition—especially the Tesla Model X and BMW iX, both of which start at over $100,000.

How to decide if going electric is right for you

Lexus has some big plans for the electric car world, but even the most amazing electric cars won’t be a good fit for everyone. If you’re hesitant to make the switch to all-electric, here are a few questions to consider:
  • Will you have access to public charging stations? Home stations are necessary for regular charging, but you want to make sure to have other options, too.
  • How many miles do you drive every day? Driving range can be a nerve-wracking factor when considering switching to an EV, but if you regularly drive under the maximum, an EV could serve you well. 
  • How often do you make trips over 200-300 miles? For daily commutes and errands, an EV’s maximum range is usually more than enough. If you drive 200+ miles on regular weekend trips, though, charging may be an issue.
  • Do you have a garage at home? If you get an EV, you’ll want to install a charging station at home—but that won’t be an option if you park on the street. 
  • Do you need a vehicle with towing capacity? The towing capacity of the RZ isn’t clear just yet, but this is important to consider if you’re used to a hefty truck or SUV. 
Purchasing an electric Lexus comes with a $7,500 federal tax credit—and other possible rebates or incentives from local and state governments and power companies. You’ll also benefit from lower operation costs, quiet driving, and helping the environment. On the flip side, electric cars—especially luxury brands—often come with higher upfront costs and time-consuming charging management. 
If you’re looking for an eco-friendly and fuel-efficient vehicle but don’t want to deal with the hassles of EVs, Lexus has several hybrid vehicles to choose from, like the
UX Hybrid
crossover, the slightly larger
NX Hybrid
crossover, or the NX plug-in hybrid EV. 

Lexus’s electric future

The RZ 450e is just the start of Lexus’s big plan for the electric vehicle market. In fact, the company aims to release a full line of all-electric vehicles in every segment by 2030. Next on the list is the as-yet-unnamed 2025 Lexus EV Supercar as the electric successor to the famous LFA coupe
Lexus is keeping the details under wraps, but it’s estimated that their EV Supercar will have a 0-to-60 time of around 2.0 seconds and a driving range of 435 miles. Start saving now, because the estimated starting price for this Supercar is about $100,000.

Plan for the future with affordable car insurance

Electric vehicles were once a hassle to charge, but thanks to technological advances, charging EVs is now an easily-manageable task. 
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