At the end of October, the European Union (EU) banned the sale of cars using gasoline and diesel engines (collectively referred to as internal combustion engines – ICE) from 2035. Specifically, the EU’s executive body, the parliament Together with member countries have completed a basic agreement, aiming to completely phase out ICE cars in the next 12 years.
The determination and unity of EU members shows the efforts of these countries to move towards the electrification path ahead, where ICE models are gradually phased out and replaced by friendly pure electric vehicles. with the environment. Lexus is one of the few automakers to have this vision early on. The company started creating electrified roads in 2004 and hybrid cars are the connecting ladder from ICE cars to electric cars.
In 2004, Lexus introduced the RX400h, the beginning of the Lexus Hybrid Drive strategy. The mid-size SUV model with a 288V NiMH battery pack, the ability to reach voltages up to 650V, and a total capacity of 270 horsepower are parameters few products on the market have. In the US, the world’s largest auto market at the time, there were 9,000 orders for the mass production version of the RX 400h. This is considered a positive signal, reflecting the great interest and acceptance from US consumers.
Hybrid technology was then added by Lexus to its other models such as GS 450h, CT 200h or LS 600hL. To date, nearly all Lexus products, from low to high ground, have hybrid configurations. Hybrid versions of Lexus ES, IS, LS, NX, GS, RX are the most advanced versions because of their advanced technology, combining the strengths of internal combustion engines and electric motors.
Lexus’ mark of continuous technological innovation continues to be reflected in the latest hybrid generation. Instead of NiMH batteries like previous generations, the company first applied lithium-ion batteries with a size 20% smaller, 20 kg lighter. The flagship LS 500h sedan and LC 500h sports coupe are the first high-end Lexus models to use this technology.
The electric motor on Lexus hybrid vehicles is capable of operating independently in many situations such as starting or stabilizing speeds above 60 km/h. When only the electric motor works with energy from the high-performance battery pack on the vehicle, the fuel consumption of Lexus hybrids is generally the lowest in the segment.
The electric motor not only works on its own but also supports the vehicle during acceleration. The advantage of fast acceleration, no lag of the electric motor is the perfect match for the gasoline engine on Lexus vehicles. For example, the LS500h series has a total capacity of up to 472 hp, pulling power of 650 Nm. Or like the RX450h series, the combined power of the two engines is up to 490 horsepower.
The battery in a hybrid vehicle does not need an external charge because the energy is charged from the process of recovering wasted kinetic energy when braking. When the charging station infrastructure for electric vehicles is still limited, hybrid is considered an effective solution to this problem.
Currently, when the demand for charging stations is gradually being better met in many markets, Lexus immediately launched a new strategic card: NX 450h with PHEV plug-in charging technology. The car’s 18.1 kWh Lithium-ion battery provides a range of nearly 100km, fully charged in about 2.5 hours with a 6.6 kW charger.
Lexus’s impeccable adaptation to electrification has resulted in top-quality models, depending on the specific stages. Because of meeting the needs of customers, Lexus’ hybrid vehicles have been sold out at dealers for many years. For the high-end customer segment, what they are most interested in is technology, experience and a civilized consumption pattern associated with environmental protection, rather than price.
In the second-hand car market in the last two years, used Lexus hybrid models have also been traded more actively. Previously, NiMH batteries on Lexus hybrid vehicles achieved a long life, 8-10 years, helping later buyers feel secure when using.
The 2021 RX 450hs that have been used for a year are currently being traded by used car showrooms for about VND 4.7 billion, which is a negligible decrease compared to new cars of VND 4.71 billion. With the same model but the 2014 model year, the liquidation price in the used car market is about 2.1 – 2.4 billion VND, equivalent to about 50% of the current value of new cars. This shows that Lexus hybrid models are still highly valued in the used car market.
The world is witnessing the explosion of the electric vehicle era, however, the infrastructure to serve electric vehicles is still a significant obstacle for pure electric cars to truly conquer customers. In that context, Hybrid is a solution sought by many car manufacturers, including Lexus. After nearly two decades of persistent pursuit, Lexus’ hybrid technology has now cast a shadow over the auto industry as the world’s leading luxury car manufacturer selling hybrid vehicles. The milestone of 2 million electrified vehicles sold as of April 2021 is a testament to an important step that shows Lexus’ right vision in its electrification strategy, looking to the future, and is an important stepping stone for Lexus. promote the electrochemical process.