Lexus still adamant to use lithium ion batteries

Article by Anita Panait, on July 16, 2013

Lexus would not rush to use lithium ion batteries on its hybrid units even as rival carmakers continue to shift to these lighter power sources, according to Mark Templin, executive vice president of Lexus International. Templin remarked during the launch event for the Lexus IS that lithium ion batteries don't bring enough benefits to justify a shift from the nickel-metal hydride batteries Lexus has been using for around eight years

He remarked that Lexus will have to bypass lithium ion batteries since they don’t bring enough positive return. He noted that Lexus will have to “leapfrog the current technology” to get to the next generation of batteries, which could occur by around 2020. He remarked that the transition to next generation of batteries is pretty quick, as it would only take nearly a product cycle.

Templin noted that a German luxury car has a life cycle of around seven to eight years. He said that in one cycle of the luxury cars of German carmakers, Lexus would be in “different technology." Toyota Motor Corp. has limitedly used lithium ion batteries in its units while Lexus uses none.

On the other hand, rival carmakers like BMW AG, Ford Motor Co., Honda Motor Co., Mitsubishi Motors Corp., Nissan Motor Co., and Volkswagen AG have already shifted to using lithium ion batteries, which is lighter and more powerful than nickel-metal hydride batteries, but are more expensive.

The Lexus RX 450h will be the third generation of the brand’s first-ever luxury SUV. At the same time, it will be fitted with the second generation of the brand’s very own Hybrid Drive technology. Utilizing an extensive experience when it comes to a full hybrid powertrain technology amounting to at least 10 years, the brand made the necessary enhancements for every element of the Lexus Hybrid Drive system.

Lexus has drawn on more than a decade of experience in full hybrid powertrain technology to bring about improvements in every aspect of the vehicle's Lexus Hybrid Drive system. The effect is that the real-world efficiency of the Lexus RX 450h is enhanced. Engine power for example is increased by 10%. Even then, the combined cycle fuel consumption is lowered by 28%.

Fuel efficiency in cold weather has been improved as well by 30%. Further, the amount the CO2 emissions has been lowered and can be considered as unmatched. While the new Lexus RX 450h did undergo a number of important changes, the first of these was the redesign that was implemented on the front section. Here the new spindle-shaped grille set-up that the brand is known for can be observed.

There were also improvements done on various equipment specifications. In fact, the brand will be offering the F Sport variant, a sport-themed trim that will be offered for the first time under the RX. In addition to having sporty styling components on the exterior and interior, the F Sport version will come with a lateral damper system to allow for a better ride and sharper handling.

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