Lexus Hybrid Vehicles

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Lexus Hybrid Vehicles: Benefits, Downsides And General

Your Questions Answered By Chris Hildreth of Lexus of Las Vegas

What are the benefits and downsides of buying a hybrid vehicle?
What is a hybrid?

In the automotive world, a hybrid is a vehicle that has two different power sources available. Sometimes one source at a time powers a vehicle…sometimes it is a mix of the two. Usually, the goal in creating a hybrid is to gain some advantage that neither of the two power sources could offer alone.

Get More Information on Lexus Hybrids Further Down this Page.

What Does Lexus Achieve By Adding An Electric Motor?

Performance Hybrids: Electric motors add power without a gas mileage penalty. Example- GS 450h drivers get the power of a V8 engine with the mileage of a V6.

Fuel Economy Hybrids: Electric motors provide enough power to move the vehicle without the engine running in some circumstances. And they contribute enough power in other driving situations to allow the use of small, fuel-efficient engines.

Hybrid Car Pros: A Lexus hybrid has better gas mileage (anywhere from 30-50 mpg depending on model). A hybrid cuts emissions by 25% to 35% over even the most fuel-efficient gas-powered models. Tax incentive in the U.S. is another powerful motive – it can reduce your cost up to $3,400 depending on the cost of the vehicle.

Hybrid Car Cons: A hybrid purchase ranges from $2,000 to $5,000 more than a regular gasoline vehicle. Acceleration for most drivers is moderate compared to what their previous gas vehicle may have given them. Some customers take longer getting settled into operating the vehicle. (They wait for the sound of the engine starting when the vehicle is already in operation mode).

What Are Some Important Things To Know Before Buying A Lexus Hybrid?

Hybrids have more than 1 engine. A gasoline engine powers the vehicle at higher speeds (above 25mph) and turns the generator to charge the hybrid battery pack and one electric motor to power the vehicle at lower speeds (below 25 mph). Some all-wheel-drive hybrids have a 2nd electric motor to provide power to rear wheels as needed (RX450h).

What models are available as hybrids at Lexus?

There are several models to choose from: CT200h, ES300h, RX450h, GS450h, LS600hL, and HS250h (discontinued in 2012).

What are some features that Lexus hybrids have that other hybrids do not?

One of the major features is the Lexus Experience. The ride comfort that customers feel in a Lexus gas model is the same ride comfort in a Lexus hybrid model. Lexus also incorporates distinctive hybrid “badging” like different wood trim available only on hybrid models and Blue accents on the exterior Lexus emblem.

Why Do You Use A Different Transmission?

Lexus ECVT (Electronically Controlled Continuously Variable Transmission) is an automatic transmission that takes input from two sources: a gas engine + an electric motor…and outputs one driving force to the wheels. Those two power sources, by their very nature, spin at different rates. The ECVT combines them: a function that no regular automatic transmission ever does. Our ECVT is seamless: there is no shifting feel, just smooth power. The GS 450H and LS 600h L have added sport features for greater responsiveness, top speed, and smoothness.

What type of batteries do Lexus hybrids use?

Lexus is currently using sealed nickel-metal hydride (Ni-MH) batteries in hybrid vehicles. The battery’s 201.6-volt output can be boosted by the on-board Inverter/Converter to 650 volts for use by other hybrid components in the vehicle.

What About Hybrid Batteries? I Heard They Aren’t Safe.

Lexus hybrids use Nickel-Metal-Hydride batteries which have been used in hybrid vehicles (made by various manufacturers) for over ten years. Proven reliable, they’re the battery that often powers your home shop and garden tools. Lexus batteries: don’t run as hot as lithium-ion batteries, work well in a wider range of outdoor temperatures, and are fully recyclable.

What’s the difference between an electric car and a hybrid car?

Electric and hybrid cars both use technology that is designed to decrease the use of gasoline fuel for powering car engines. Electric cars are totally electric, meaning that they must be plugged in and charged, and that the range of the car is only as far as the charge. Hybrid cars use a mixture of gas and electric power to create a gas efficient partially electric car with a less limited range.

Why An Electric Motor And Not Something Else?

Electric motors have great torque starting as soon as they begin turning. That means they can really add power when US drivers need it most: when accelerating. Other electric motor advantages over gas and diesel engines: Smaller, Less noise and vibration, Fewer moving parts.

Is the Lexus Hybrid an electric car?

No, Lexus hybrids are a combination of electric and gas motors.

All The Car Ads Talk About A Car’s Horsepower. Why Are You Talking About Torque?

Torque: It measures the twisting force where our tire meets the road. It is that twisting force that gets a load…such as your vehicle…up and moving from a standing start. It largely determines how fast your care accelerates from 0-60 mph.

Horsepower: Horsepower is a different force that is also output from engines and electric motors. It enables your vehicle to go as fast as it can (its top speed). It is also used when your vehicle is already going fast and you need to pass another car or truck.

Chris Hildreth has been assisting Lexus of Las Vegas clients as a Lexus Senior Certified Technology Specialist for over 3 years.

Come down and ask him your vehicle-related questions in person at the Lexus of Las Vegas dealership.

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