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Lexus boss: EV push coming "too soon"

by Ronan Glon

\"I prefer to approach the future in a more honest way.\"

The transition to electric cars is happening too fast, according to Lexus' top executive. He raised questions about the technology, how it fits into the lives of motorists, and the impact it has on the environment.

"We understand that electric is very necessary -- more than some, perhaps, with our early move to hybrid -- but we can also see that full EV will not suit everyone. You can't make an electric Land Cruiser work, for instance, and there are people in remote parts of the world whose lives depend on that car," explained Lexus president Yoshihiro Sawa in an interview with British magazine Autocar.

He added charging an electric car remains a lengthy process. And, for all the talk of EVs saving the planet, he pointed out manufacturing a battery pack isn't an environmentally-friendly process because minerals like cobalt need to be mined. Batteries degrade over time, too, and need to be disposed of properly when they reach their of their life cycle.

"It's a complex issue -- much more complex than the current rhetoric perhaps suggests. I prefer to approach the future in a more honest way," he concluded.

According to Sawa, car companies need to spend money on improving the gasoline engine and developing hybrid, plug-in hybrid and hydrogen powertrains for the coming decades instead of praising electric technology as a one-size-fits-all solution.

Photo by Ronan Glon.