Global president for Japanese luxury marque indicates all-electric model is in the planning stage for emissions-sensitive markets, though it's still unclear what form that vehicle will take.
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Lexus and its Toyota parent have led the way for hybrid vehicles for decades, though now it appears the luxury arm is looking into the EV space as emissions regulations tighten in markets like China and Europe.

Speaking with industry journal Automotive News Europe at the Shanghai motor show, international president for Lexus, Yoshihiro Sawa, said the company will need to launch an electric model at some point.

"Definitely here we need an EV in the future," he told the publication, "but I cannot say when or how."

"It's a transition era, we are studying several possibilities."

The report adds that Lexus will likely be forced to bring EVs to Europe as well, given the upcoming bans on combustion-powered vehicles in select major cities, with Sawa adding that launch timing will be dependent on regional regulation.

Lexus and Toyota have been fairly late to the EV party, choosing to focus on its petrol-electric hybrid technology and hydrogen fuel-cell systems offered overseas.

However, Toyota has already confirmed it will launch an electric version of its C-HR crossover in China next year, and then Europe, as part of a plan to introduce more than 10 EV models by 2025.

As for Lexus, roughly a quarter of its global sales are hybrid models.

It's believed the luxury arm's first EV could be based on the new UX crossover, itself based on the C-HR.

Given Toyota is already developing an electric C-HR for China, it would make sense for Lexus to reduce its R&D costs by using the C-HR EV's powertrain underneath the skin of its related UX.

However, nothing has been confirmed at this stage in terms of what the Lexus EV will look like, so that's all speculation.

In the meantime, stay tuned to CarAdvice for all the latest.