Electric Cars: The Basics
For those of you new to zero-emission electric driving, we recommend a read of the following articles:
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The Lexus RX 450h + PHEV SUV
Lexus, renowned for the manufacture of luxury cars, is owned by the Japanese automotive behemoth, Toyota Motor Corporation. Lexus was created in 1989 to compete against Japanese rivals, Honda Motor Company and Nissan Motor Company, who had established their premium brands, Acura and Infiniti, respectively. However, work on the Lexus concept commenced as early as 1983.
The Lexus brand is now a well recognised global automotive brand in the premium segment, with its luxury cars sold in more than 90 countries. The United States continues to be its largest market. Though Lexus is relatively late to the global electrification (EV) race, the company has been involved with hybrid technology since 2005, the year the hybrid version of the RX crossover made its debut. The company has been a leader in ‘self-charging hybrid cars’. The company currently has 8 vehicles that use hybrid/ plug-in hybrid technology and has only one battery-electric vehicle (BEV). The company has the following plug-in electric vehicles (EVs):
- The all-electric Lexus UX 300e
- The Lexus NX plug-in hybrid (PHEV)
- The Lexus RX plug-in hybrid (PHEV)
- Lexus RZ 450e
The Lexus RX SUV has been around since 1998. The luxury SUV has been reincarnated successfully through five-generations, and the RX Hybrid was the first Lexus model to be built outside Japan. The Lexus RX became the best-selling Lexus model shortly post launch, galvanising the broader expansion of the premium SUV segment.
In fact, to date, Lexus RX has sold over 3.5 million globally! The incorporation of the self-charging hybrid powertrain in 2005 played a key role in the success of the model. The current 5th generation was unveiled in May 2022, and is built on the GA-K platform, which includes, the RX plug-in hybrid variant. The Lexus NX PHEV also uses this platform.
In general, given the significant improvement in the electric range of the latest-generation battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), there are very few good reasons to choose a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), instead of a pure electric car. The only really compelling reason for buying a PHEV in 2023, is that you have very limited access to EV charging, either at home, public charging or the workplace, and that you need to travel significant distances on a very regular basis.
There is now only a minority of drivers that will fit this bill, as most of us have access to electric car charging, either at home, public charging stations or at the workplace! Moreover, most drivers average a mere 50 km a day! If indeed you are determined on a PHEV, albeit, a premium plug-in hybrid, then the Lexus RX PHEV maybe worth consideration.
A glance at the list of the longest range plug-in hybrids for 2023, makes it amply clear, that to be class-leading, a plug-in hybrid needs to offer a pure electric range over 100 km on a single charge. Though the Lexus RX 450h+ plug-in hybrid benefits from Lexus’s fourth-generation self-charging hybrid and EV technology, it is surprising that the PHEV does not offer a class-leading electric range.
The RX plug-in hybrid incorporates a 18.1 kWh onboard EV battery with a claimed emission-free range up to 68 km (WLTP). Decent, but not inspirational. Moreover, adjusting the e-range for real-world driving conditions, the electric range will be closer to 55 km.
In comparison, the Volvo V60 PHEV, with a nearly similar sized EV battery (18.8 kWh) to the Lexus PHEV, has a claimed e-range up to 91 km (WLTP). Even more impressive is the Range Rover Sport PHEV, which offers up to 113 km on a single charge.
But of course, it is not just about the financial savings gained from driving a PHEV on electric mode, it is also the zero-tailpipe emissions when driven on e-mode. The Lexus RX PHEV has claimed tailpipe emissions up to 26g (CO2/km), which enhances its appeal. It is worth noting that in comparison, the Range Rover plug-in hybrid has claimed tailpipe emissions up to 20 (CO2/km), and the conventional RX petrol variant has emissions up to 189 (CO2/km). Bottom-line, the more the PHEV is driven on e-mode, the lower the tailpipe emissions!
In terms of charging, the Lexus RX plug-in hybrid does not offer DC charging. Most PHEVs do not incorporate DC charging capability, given the smaller EV battery size. The RX PHEV has a 6.6 kWh AC onboard charger and can be fully charged in 2.5 hours via a dedicated residential EV charger.
The Lexus RX plug-in hybrid combines a 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with the onboard motor/ generator and the EV battery. The all-wheel drive PHEV can achieve 0-100 km/h in 6.5 seconds (maximum power: 309 hp/ torque: 391 Nm). The EV also benefits from instant torque when drivel on the e-mode. The top speed of the PHEV is 180 km/h. More than sufficient for a family SUV! Lexus claims a fuel economy up to 1.1 l/100 km, but in real-world driving conditions, this is not realistic!
The PHEV is available in three trims, with loads of technology and equipment as standard. The cockpit is based on the Japanese Tazuna (‘reins for a horse’) concept (similar to the Lexus RZ BEV), and also incorporates the Omotenashi 64 colours ambient lighting. The plug-in hybrid also features a 14″ touchscreen, along with the Lexus advanced voice assistant system. As expected from a Lexus, the interior cabin is appointed to a high quality, with ample legroom and headroom. The boot size is 461 L.
The EV also incorporates a host of safety features (3rd generation Lexus Safety System +), and has been awarded a 5-Star EURO NCAP safety rating. The PHEV also offers an advanced parking feature, whereby, it will park the car for you! Other features include: blind spot monitor, rear cross traffic alert and braking, proactive driving assist, driver monitor, safe exit assist, Bladescan® AHS headlight technology and more!
As for the exterior appeal, the RX does not lack any confidence, in particular, given the new spindle body design and sportier aerodynamic coupé-like styling! The rear incorporates the new Lexus signature blade light that spans the entire width. Company-car drivers can also take advantage of the Lexus PHEV to reduce the cost of motoring.
Bottom-line, electric driving is good for the environment and the wallet!
|Decent electric range||Cheaper alternatives available|
|Good level of standard equipment and safety features||Some alternatives offer longer electric range|
|Quality interior and attractive exterior styling||Rear-view visibility limited|
The Lexus RX PHEV SUV (credit: Lexus)
|At A Glance|
|EV Type:||Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)|
|Available In Ireland:||Yes|
|Variants (2 Option)|
|Lexus RX 450h+ Luxury (from € 89,070)|
|Lexus RX 450h+ Premium (from € 97,680)|
|EV Battery & Emissions|
|EV Battery Type:||Lithium-ion|
|EV Battery Capacity:||Available in one battery size: 18.1 kWh|
|Charging:||DC rapid charging not available. Onboard charger 6.6 kW AC (0% – 100%: 2.5 hrs)|
|Charge Port:||Type 2|
|EV Cable Type:||Type 2|
|Tailpipe Emissions:||26g (CO2/km)|
|Warranty:||8 years or 160,000 km|
|Average Cost Of Residential Charging|
|Battery net capacity : 8.8 kWh||€ 2.10|
|Battery net capacity : 11.6 kWh||€ 2.78|
|Battery net capacity : 12.0 kWh||€ 2.87|
|Battery net capacity : 13.10 kWh||€ 3.14|
|Battery net capacity : 14.10 kWh||€ 3.37|
- Note 1: The average cost of residential electricity in Ireland varies depending on the region, supplier and type of energy used. An average for Ireland is 23.97 cents/kWh.
- Note 2: Not all EV manufactures make available the data on net EV battery capacity, and in a number of instances the EV battery capacity advertised, does not state if it is gross or net capacity. In general, usable EV battery capacity is between 85% to 95% of the gross available capacity.
|Charging Times (Overview)|
|Slow charging AC (3 kW – 3.6 kW):||6 – 12 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SOC)|
|Fast charging AC (7 kW – 22 kW):||3 – 8 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)|
|Rapid charging AC (43 kW):||0-80%: 20 mins to 60 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)|
- Note 1: SoC: state-of-charge
|Turning Circle (m):||12.6|
|Boot Space (L):||461|
|RX 450h +|
|EV Battery Capacity:||18.1 kWh|
|Pure Electric Range (WLTP):||68 km|
|Electric Energy Consumption (kWh/100km):||N/A|
|Fuel Consumption (l/100 km):||1.1 – 1.2|
|Charging:||DC rapid charging not available. Onboard charger 6.6 kW AC (0% – 100%: 2.5 hrs)|
|Top Speed:||180 km/h|
|0-100 km/h:||6.5 seconds|
|Drive:||All-wheel drive (AWD)|
|Max Power (hp):||309 (227 kW)|
|Kerb Weight (kg):||2,110 – 2,240|
|NCAP Safety Rating:||Five-Star|
Buying EV Cables: Top 3 Tips
When it comes to electric car charging cables, an astute electric car owner will focus on quality and performance over cheapest price. We at e-zoomed have an excellent range of high quality and high performance electric car charging cables, all priced very competitively! At e-zoomed we offer charging cables from 2m to 50m for single-phase and three-phase EV charging cables as standard.
|EV Cables: Top 3 Tips|
|Never buy cheap:||Not all EV charging cables are the same. It is simply false economy to try and save a few Euro’s on buying a cheaper cable, when in all probability the EV you own is worth over € 30,000! Nor are we suggesting you buy the most expensive. There is always a balance between price and quality, and electric car charging cables are no different. The last thing you need is to have the EV charging cable stop working when you most need it. EV cables on the e-zoomed Electric Living Shop are made from TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane), a higher quality material that is extremely flexible, durable and smooth to touch.|
|The shortest length is never the best choice:||A number of customers seek the shortest length (2m EV charging cable) because it is the cheapest. However a 2m EV cable is limited in practicality and usually not a good long-term investment. Most charging destinations (home or public) require an EV charging cable that is longer than 2m. In our experience, most customers buy EV charging cables between 5m and 25m. We recommend at least a 5m charging cable. It is long enough to meet most charging needs, but compact enough to be carried and put away easily! Of course, a number of customers need even longer EV cables.|
|A lower technical specification EV charging cable Is never the best choice:||As above, a number of electric car owners seek to buy a 16 amp (single-phase) EV charging cable, instead of a 32 amp (single-phase) EV charging cable. The reason is simple. The 16 amp is marginally cheaper! However, a 16 amp charging cable charges at 3.6kW, a much slower rate to a 32 amp EV charging cable that charges at 7.2 kW. An ampere is the unit for measuring electricity. The accepted standard unit used for measuring how fast an electric current flows is an example of an ampere. The reason why customers in Ireland buy a single-phase EV cable, is because most homes in Ireland are powered by single-phase power supply. Also important to asses is the IP Rating for the EV cable. Not all EV cables have the same IP Rating. Of course, warranty is also important. Most EV cables are sold with a warranty of at least 2 years!|
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