Hybrid technology has seen a massive uptake among the motoring public looking for greener, more fuel-efficient options to the traditional combustion engine. However, all transitions in technological and automotive development need a period of adjustment. That’s what Hybrid technology represents – a bridging point between the petrol engine and newer forms of power such as electricity.
Hybrid cars fulfil that role perfectly, appealing to those who want better fuel consumption and economy, but with no compromise on the driving experience. Hybrid means you can use the car’s electric motors when you’re on the daily commute in the city, and then flip over to traditional petrol power when you’re on the open road. In the meantime, the electric motors are recharging themselves through regenerative braking, and are there when you decide to go back to electric power again.
It sounds like you’re getting the best of both worlds, but are there any drawbacks to owning a Hybrid car?
There’s no disputing the fact that Hybrid cars are more expensive than their non-Hybrid counterparts – at the moment. However, you do have to factor in that they are ‘future-proofed’ to a certain degree, and over the years you will see that initial higher level of investment returned through cheaper motoring costs. This is particularly relevant if much of your driving is done on urban and city streets, where the Hybrid car really comes into its own. Here, drivers are using the electric side of the equation far more than the petrol engine.
Price-wise, Hybrids fall in the middle to upper range, making them a considered investment rather than an impulse buy. But in return you are buying into a brand that has a reputation for excellence, exceptional quality, and innovation.
Lexus cars also hold their resale value much more efficiently, and have a lower depreciation rate compared to other models. That makes a Lexus Hybrid a smart choice if you want performance, efficiency, and the driver experience but with absolutely no compromise on quality or comfort.
Hybrid fuel efficiency is excellent, and as it’s a self-charging unit there is no need to plug your Lexus Hybrid Electric in at the end of the day. Recharging is done through the action of regenerative braking (delivering a ‘boost’ charge into the batteries every time you apply the brakes), and through the energy created by the vehicle’s petrol engine.
If the majority of your driving experience is inner-city commuting then the electric batteries really come into their own, dramatically reducing the cost per mile of motoring, as well as ensuring you don’t have to pay any additional congestion or emission zone charges within city limits.
While the Hybrid market is constantly evolving, Lexus is at the forefront of technological advances to produce models such as the Lexus LX Hybrid. The use of the powerful electric motor produces zero CO2 emissions, while the petrol engine is as spirited as ever. The immediate response of the electric motors can be quite surprising. The combination of Lexus Hybrid Electric (HE) and Electronic Continuous Variable Transmission (ECVT) provides two very different acceleration experiences for the driver. “Normal mode” provides you with a more measured response that’s ultra-smooth and refined. The more aggressive “Sport mode” increases the petrol engine’s speed on acceleration for a boost of power that is easily comparable with the top sports models in the same class.
The question of battery efficiency and the cost of replacing your batteries is a big issue with Hybrid and electric cars. However, Lexus Hybrid cars use the very latest battery technology, making them incredibly efficient and long-lived. They come with an 8-year/160,000km warranty, which should last you the lifetime of your vehicle.
With smoother acceleration and no noticeable difference in performance when transferring from the electric motor to the petrol engine and back again, the driving experience in a Lexus Hybrid is comparable to what you would get in a normal petrol version.
Apart from the initial higher cost of a Hybrid car, there are very few drawbacks to buying a Hybrid vehicle. Running costs are comparable if not lower than a petrol car, and the cost of consumables such as tyres is very similar between the two categories.
The Hybrid does have one last big advantage - they’re much quieter than a normal sedan when operated in electric mode. If you want to head out of the city and onto the open road then you always have the option of flipping back to the petrol engine for that typically exhilarating Lexus experience. If you have the opportunity to buy a Hybrid car in the UAE, it’s certainly worth looking at seriously, especially as we move towards a greener motoring future.
Check out the Hybrid cars on offer at Al Futtaim Lexus, and call us today to arrange a test drive.