Lexus latest electric car borrows a controversial feature from Tesla., Electric Vehicle News Bitesize
Lexus latest electric car borrows a controversial feature from Tesla., Electric Vehicle News Bitesize

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Toyota-owned luxury automaker Lexus has taken the wraps off its newest electric vehicle — and it takes a very specific design inspiration from the Tesla Model S Plaid.

While the Lexus RZ 450e has some admittedly impressive performance credentials (which we’ll detail a little later), it also has the most maligned interior spec: the steering yolk.

Steering yolks have been criticized for their lack of all-round grip and difficult manoeuvrability in low-speed urban driving situations, and are more common on airplanes—though they’re only an optional extra on the RZ 450e at least.

Beyond wheel grip, however, Lexus’ latest electric offering is a majestic beast. Sure, it looks remarkably similar to many of the brand’s internal combustion vehicle models — as does its closely related Subaru sibling, the Solterra — but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

The RZ 450e is sleek and aggressive-looking, but unique enough to go head-to-head with German-built Electric Vehicles (at least it puts the gigantic BMW XM to shame).

Under the bonnet or rather, on the floor of the car itself—drivers get a 71.4kWh lithium-ion battery (the same as the Toyota bZ4X), which Lexus says will have a range of more than 250 miles. The company has yet to share Electric Vehicle charging speeds, although we expect the RZ 450e to come with 150kW charging capability like its Japanese sibling.

The latest Lexus will also feature the brand’s “Direct4” four-wheel-drive drivetrain, giving the driver two electric motors that deliver 308 horsepower and 321 pound-feet of torque.

The company says these performance characteristics will enable the RZ 450e to sprint from 0 to 100 kilometres or 0 to 62 miles per hour in 5.6 seconds – which is faster than the Audi Q4 E-tron 50 Quattro.

Inside the cabin, the RZ 450e offers all the tech features we’ve come to expect from high-end Electric Vehicles these days, including a sleek 14-inch touchscreen.

Features like a dimmable panoramic sunroof and radiant heaters will also be standard, while the car is equipped with Lexus’ Safe Exit Assist, which prevents doors from opening in the paths of vehicles and cyclists approaching from behind.

There’s no word yet on the launch price of the Lexus RZ 450e, but considering the price of its combustion-engine predecessor, the Lexus RX, we’d wager the figure will be well over $80,000 or £60,000 or AU$110,000.

It’s no small thing, but the RZ 450e will still inevitably lower the price of premium electric offerings from Tesla, Mercedes, and BMW. So it’s worth considering on paper – just don’t opt ​​for the yolk.

Meanwhile in other news;

The number of Electric Vehicle charging stations in Doncaster has increased over the past two years.

There are more public charging stations for electric vehicles in Doncaster than there were two years ago, new figures show.

With people urged to “invest in our planet” for Earth Day 2022, the government aims to completely phase out petrol and diesel cars by 2030.

Department of Transport figures show Doncaster had 65 public charging stations as of January 1, up from 43 two years ago

There were 28,375 installed in the UK earlier this year, up from 16,505 in January 2020.

According to further figures from the Department for Transport, as of January 1st, Doncaster residents had also installed 810 charging points at their homes under the Electric Vehicle Home Charging Scheme – an increase of 170 per cent over the past two years.

The scheme offers applicants 75% of the cost of installing a charging station, up to £350.

There are also 109 charging points installed in the workplace.

But with residents needing “designated private off-street parking” for the Homecharge scheme, the SMMT is advocating for more investment in those who only have on-street parking.

In Yorkshire and the Humber, only 25 charging points have been installed under the On Street Residential scheme, which allows local authorities to apply for funding for installations.

Another 72 applications have been approved since April 2019, but installations are still not complete.

On April 22, Earth Day 2022 events will take place around the world, focusing on encouraging businesses, including the automotive industry, to invest in sustainable products and services.

Separate figures from the SMMT show there are now more than 460,000 pure electric vehicles in the UK, more than double the number two years ago.

Electric cars emit on average a third less carbon dioxide than equivalent petrol or diesel cars, according to Transport & Environment, the European Clean Mobility Action.

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Lexus latest electric car borrows a controversial feature from Tesla., Electric Vehicle News Bitesize
Lexus latest electric car borrows a controversial feature from Tesla.