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If you’ve ever thought about buying a hybrid car, you must have thought to yourself, what about the batteries? I mean its one thing to have your car’s battery fail on you as thats easily replaceable, but its another to have the battery which literally powers the engine to die on you.

Lexus/Toyota are well aware of these fears, so they have decided to literally guarantee the technology they use in their hybrid cars. Lexus says that their hybrid vehicles feature world-leading technology, including a high voltage battery designed to last for many more years than a conventional battery.

Lexus has demonstrated its commitment to the concept of hybrid technology with the introduction of the GS450h and the RX400h in 2006. 2007 will see the introduction of the LS600hL, the world’s first upper-luxury petrol-electric hybrid and the world’s first V8 hybrid.

An electric vehicle requires an external electric power source to recharge a spent battery. In a Lexus hybrid vehicle, electricity is generated as the engine moves the vehicle. Therefore, with the simple supply of petrol, an external electric power source is not needed.

Lexus HV hybrid batteries, which are charged as the engine operates, are designed to last for many years and are recharged many thousands of times during normal operation. The batteries are also recyclable.

The batteries in all Lexus hybrid vehicles are under warranty for five years or up to 100,000km, whichever occurs first, for peace of mind. The HV battery should never get completely flat as the car’s computer is designed to constantly monitor the condition of the battery. In normal operation it does not allow a charge load of less than 40 per cent to occur.

When the battery’s charge level is low the engine activates the generator, and the resulting electricity is used to recharge the battery. Additionally, as soon as the brakes are applied the motors begin functioning as generators, also supplying the generated electricity to the battery.

If there is a severe battery failure or critical problems with the battery, the system shuts off automatically. Lexus Manager for Service and Parts, Mr Bob Dawes, believes the hybrid technology is as reliable as a conventional petrol-engined vehicle.

Lexus hybrid vehicles are renowned for their reliability and ease of use. Many people misunderstand the technology associated with hybrid vehicles, but at Lexus we have spent a great deal of time dispelling these myths,” he said.

“We are pleased to report that there have been very few cases of Toyota/Lexus hybrid component failure worldwide. In fact these number less than 0.25% of all the Toyota and Lexus hybrid vehicles in operation,” said Mr Dawes.

“However, should this ever happen, Lexus dealers will be able to replace the battery. And the estimated cost of replacement is only around four thousand dollars; which we believe is minimal given the advanced technology associated with hybrid vehicles.”

By the middle of next year hybrid models could account for almost 10 per cent of total Lexus take-up in Australia. By that time Lexus will have become the first car maker to offer hybrid technology in a luxury car, luxury SUV, all-wheel drive and a V8.

  • http://norakism.blogspot.com Norakism

    A Taxi driver in Canada driving a Prius got over 400,000km on it without the battery being changed, so I think it’s safe to say the battery will last the life of the car. It’s been ten years and Toyota has not replaced one battery except for Priuses that have been in car accidents.

  • lexusowner

    Warning – battery failure is occuring. My 2006 Lexus RX 400h today experienced total battery failure – 2.5 years after purchase, with 29,000 miles on the car. When I took it into service, I was told that they had seen a “handful” of cars experience battery failure. I live in Houston where heat is extreme, and I was concerned over the battery when I bought the car. I am very glad I got the extended warranty. However, I am thinking of getting rid of the car. When battery failure occurs, everything shuts down. I was travelling 60 mph on the highway when failure occured. No power steering, no engine, brake function deteriorated (but still worked thank goodness). Was a very dangerous situation. And there was no warning that the battery was in trouble. No obvious deterioration in performance or anything. Has anyone else experienced this? Shaken in Houston, TX

    • jenny

      I had same problem, I was only driving 25mph and the car stop on the road, I took the car to dealer and they said combination problem with battery and gas was empty. but there was gas… they replaced battery under warranty.. but i’m still question with that happen..And I didn’t get any warning notice about battery…

  • Paul

    Its a risk you take…. just like theres a risk that a conventional engine might die on you. The fact that there have only been a hanful of cases out of 1000’s of vehicles sold shows they can be relied upon.

  • Mark Berger

    A conventional engine wont die on you after 2 and a half years and 29,000 miles! You are an idiot to think that this car can be relied upon.

  • MCH

    Nothing is reliable 100%. I did have a transmission fail at 3400, (that’s right not missing a zero) on a brand new car. I’m sure everybody thought that the o-rings in the Challenger were good to go and reliable too.

  • Fred

    I purchased a 2006 400h this being my 9th vehicle purchased from Lexus since 1990. Living in Montreal and the extreme winter weather, my 400h has operated flawlessly. (41000 klms) I cannot for the life of me understand how anyone would doubt the efficiency of a Hybrid. I guess ignorance would be appropriate. For the few vehicles that did experience a problem, this in no way should be considered the norm. Nearing the end of its fourth year I am happy to announce that I have just ordered a 2010 rx450. Averaging 10 litres per one hundred kilometers in all weather, I would applaud the fuel savings. So all of you, get with the program and help save the environment.

  • veeresh

    hybrid technology is very good idea i thank full to who are the innovation of it.

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  • Kevin

    Ok Fred
    You Hybrid drivers are not going to save the planet maybe you will save some fuel and contribute less pollution but one volcano like the one in Iceland puts out so much green house gas that millions of Hybrids WILL NEVER GET CLOSE TO MAKING A DIF