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Hybrid Technology

10 Years of Hybrid

While most premium automotive brands have only been experimenting with hybrid technology recently, we launched the world’s first full hybrid luxury car back in 2005 with the Lexus RX400h and have been leading the way ever since. Now, with an entire fully hybrid range to choose from, Lexus has honed the technology to advance the future. We are creating amazing.

No plug Required

There are many myths around hybrid cars, one of which is that all hybrid require plugging in. Lexus Hybrid Drive doesn't need to be plugged in because the battery is re-charged during the course of driving. When braking, the electric motor goes into reverse, acting as an electric brake and generating electricity. This is fed into the hybrid battery to re-charge it. Simple and clever. Visit our Frequently Asked Questions page to find out more information about hybrid, including other myths about the technology.

Hybrid Technology

An intelligent combination of a petrol engine working with an electric motor to provide an efficient drive. A ‘hybrid’ vehicle is classed as a car with more than one power source, in most hybrids on the road this dual power is a regular internal combustion engine and an electric motor. These two power sources can combine in three different ways to create three different hybrids:

Full Hybrid

Our Lexus Hybrid Drive system is a ‘full’ hybrid system, which means the electric motor and engine are separate from one another. Both power sources are capable of powering the vehicle on their own as well as together.


The combustion engine is the primary power source for the vehicle, aided by the electric motor. This version is less popular as the amount of power available is more limited than a full hybrid and can be less functional.


The last kind of hybrid is known as a ‘series’ type. Here, the electric motor drives the vehicle alone because the combustion engine isn’t directly connected to the transmission therefore serves as a generator providing the electric motor with power. Once the battery power is depleted so it lacks efficiency, making these types of hybrid rare.

Lexus Hybrid Drive

Every vehicle in the Inchcape Lexus Hybrid range benefit from the advanced Lexus hybrid Drive technology. This technology consists of six components: a petrol engine, an electric motor, an electric generator, a battery, a power control unit, and a power split device. The power is distributed between then engine, generator and motor thanks to a planetary gearbox used by the power split device.This intelligent combination of technology means the vehicle is able to adapt to your style of driving - managing the flow of power from the engine and electric motor for ultimate efficiency. So how does the technology work? Read on or view the video below for a comprehensive explanation.

Starting/Low Speed

The car is powered by the electric motor alone so it’s quieter, uses no fuel and there are zero emissions. This is because an electric motor is much more efficient at this speed than the normal engine.

Acceleration/High Speed

At speed, the petrol engine takes over whilst the electric motor provides extra power when accelerating or driving uphill.


When braking or when lifting your foot off the accelerator, our full hybrid vehicles use the motor as an electric brake, so kinetic energy usually lost as heat is converted to charge the battery. When the car comes to a complete halt, there is no idling as the car switches the engine off to conserve power and reduce emissions, automatically firing it up again when necessary.

Want to know more? Just contact your nearest Inchcape Lexus Dealership