TOYOTA CITY, Japan — Lexus, which sold fewer than 6,000 electric vehicles worldwide last year, says it will be ready to make 1 million EVs annually by 2030, a mere eight years from now.
But achieving sustainable operations at such volume remains a tricky business, executives say.
Entering the EV era will require Toyota Motor Corp.'s premium brand to not only engineer battery-electric vehicles but reengineer the production process that builds them, says Takashi Watanabe, chief engineer of Lexus Electrified, the division charged with making the marque gasoline-free.
That will mean more flexible manufacturing — including more EV- dedicated lines and even more mixed production with the mass-market Toyota brand. The shift will also mean relying on a new automotive operating system across the Toyota Group that will speed product development.