Lexus pioneered hybrids in the luxury segment, but for the foreseeable future it intends to put a halt on gasoline-electric tech, giving a pass to lithium-ion batteries in favor of the same nickle-metal hydride units the company has relied on for years.
It seems like Lexus will continue to use the older tech, waiting patiently for the next big advancement in battery technology. According to Automotive News Lexus VP Mark Templin believes that the advances of lithium ion batteries aren’t significant enough for the company to make the move.
Templin believes that larger gains to battery technology will come as soon as 2020, a short time to wait in the world of luxury vehicles. After all, Lexus’ main rivals overseas in Germany have product cycles for vehicles that can stretch to eight years.
The batteries that Lexus uses in its RX450h, ES300h, GS450h, LS600h and CT200h hybrids are considered to be heavier and less powerful than the lithium ion batteries that rival hybrid luxury vehicles are now using. However, the older tech is considered to be cheaper too.
Currently, very few luxury automakers offer a hybrid with nickel metal hydride batteries. Only the Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid and Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid still use nickel metal hybrid tech in the luxury/premium segment. Even the Toyota Prius Plug-in PHEV uses the new lithium ion technology, so it’s interesting to see the company’s premium vehicles not get the high-tech treatment.
[Source: Automotive News]