Toyota aims to put 1,000 km-range Lexus EV on the road by 2026

FILE PHOTO: President of the BEV factory at Toyota Takero Kato and Toyota's Chief Branding Officer Simon Humphries unveil the Lexus LF-ZC during a press day of the Japan Mobility Show 2023 at Tokyo Big Sight in Tokyo, Japan October 25, 2023. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo

TOKYO (Reuters) - Toyota unveiled a Lexus concept car with a roughly 1,000 kilometre range on Wednesday that it aims to roll out by 2026, part of the Japanese automaker's strategic pivot to EVs reliant on advanced battery technology.

The LF-ZC concept car, which debuted at the Japan Mobility Show, uses "prismatic, high-performance" batteries that achieve around twice the range of conventional EVs - or around 1,000 kilometres (620 miles).

"The key to achieving these breakthroughs is parts minimalisation and reduction across the board, including smaller, more efficient batteries with more power and more range," Toyota Chief Branding Officer Simon Humphries said at a press briefing introducing the concept model.

The world's top-selling automaker announced in June an ambitious plan to ramp up in battery EVs, including the launch of the next-generation lithium-ion batteries that offer longer ranges and quicker charging.

It also said it had achieved a "breakthrough" in overcoming problems previously identified with the durability in solid-state batteries. It aims to sell vehicles powered by solid-state batteries - considered a potential "game changer" for the industry because of their range and performance - by 2027 or 2028.

The low-sitting LF-ZC sports an expansive cockpit and uses advanced AI technology that Toyota has dubbed "Butler". The AI system is able to identify preferences that drivers may not be aware of themselves, Toyota said.

Toyota has committed to having battery EVs account for 100% of global sales of the luxury Lexus brand by 2035.

(Reporting by Maki Shiraki and Daniel Leussink; Editing by David Dolan and David Holmes)

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