Lexus unveiled a hybrid subcompact crossover on Monday for the European and Japanese markets. The vehicle is being sold with the same controversial “self-charging” rhetoric that the Toyota luxury brand has used in the past for hybrids. The vehicle is intended for the European and Japanese markets.

However, the Lexus LBX 2024 is the smallest design of the brand’s vehicles. It measures 165 inches in length, which is a foot less than the length of the Lexus UX. Due to its compact size, it is quite improbable that the LBX will make it to the United States. It shares the same TNGA-B platform as the Toyota Yaris Cross, which is an additional variant that is not sold in the United States of America.

2024 Lexus LBX (Europe spec)

The only possible powertrain is a combination of a 1.5-liter inline-3 engine and a single electric driven motor. Together, these components provide 134 horsepower, which is transmitted to the front wheels. The press release refers to this powertrain as “a new-technology self-charging Lexus hybrid electrical technique.”

Lexus has been using the phrase “self-charging” in Europe and other markets as a method to promote hybrids as opposed to electric vehicles (EVs), with the rationale being that hybrids provide some degree of electrification without the bother of plugging in. Other markets have also been using this word. It is also a formula for uncertainty, to the point where it was a major factor in the regulatory crackdown in Norway, which is one of the most welcoming nations in the world for electric vehicles (EVs).

When in fact it is just operating the gas motor more (and making use of regen braking), these regulators and consumer teams have identified the term to be confusing. This is due to the fact that it suggests that it charges the battery by means of some other method like solar power, inductive charging, and so on.

2024 Lexus LBX (Europe spec)

Before then, Lexus would sometimes use the phrase “generally charged,” which is a lot simpler to say. During that time period, Lexus was marketing its hybrid vehicles as an alternative to electric vehicles (EVs).

Since Lexus already produces certain electric vehicles (EVs), notably the superb NX 450h+ plug-in hybrid and the UX 300e, which continues to be sold alongside the LBX in Europe, marketing a new hybrid model as “self-charging” is a confusing marketing strategy. If nothing else, some people might get the LBX confused for an electric vehicle (EV) that has an autonomous charging system, which is a separate factor.

This robotic electric vehicle charger may be found in an airport in Texas and is just one example of the abundance of autonomous charging stations for electric vehicles that are now being tested. Is this getting us a little bit closer to self-charging?