DETROIT -- German automakers made waves at last fall's Paris auto show with plans to chase Tesla with their own electric luxury cars. Now, the Asian brands are considering the move.
Lexus, Genesis, Acura and Infiniti say they are weighing electric vehicle offerings -- in some cases to meet emissions rules, in others because zippy, futuristic EV cachet enhances their luxury buzz.
None of the premium brands displayed an EV or concept at the Detroit auto show last week, but executives on hand said their companies were in varying stages of putting one on the road.
South Korean luxury upstart Genesis is the most aggressive. The Hyundai spinoff brand aims to roll out as many as three EV models by 2025, with the first arriving around 2020.
Additional EV nameplates will arrive at around three-year intervals, said Lee Ki-sang, senior vice president at Hyundai Motor Group's Eco Technology Center. The Genesis entries will be dedicated stand-alone EVs on a new electric-only platform being developed, he said.
"In Genesis, we absolutely need that kind of luxury electric vehicle," Lee said.
The goal, he said, is a flagship Genesis EV that can outperform the best from Tesla and others.
One motivation is the need for Genesis to meet increasingly stringent emissions rules. While Genesis can average its fuel economy figures with Hyundai for fleet figures in some markets, such as the United States, the brand needs to stand on its own in other markets, Lee said.