Lexus Hybrid Drive Explained
All Lexus Hybrid Drive vehicles use six main components: a petrol engine, an electric motor, an electric generator, a battery, a power control unit, and a power split device. The power split device uses a special planetary gearbox to distribute power between the engine, motor and generator.
Lexus Hybrid Drive is known as a ‘full-hybrid’ system, meaning that its two power sources – a battery-powered electric motor and a petrol-driven combustion engine – are entirely separate from one another. Either of them can power the car on their own, or the power from both units can be combined.
The Lexus Hybrid Drive system’s ‘intelligence’ allows the two power sources to operate with a wonderful synergy. When the petrol engine is running, it drives the generator to charge the battery; and when conditions allow it, such as in low-speed urban environments, the generator shuts down the petrol engine and lets the electric motor take over, meaning that the car can operate without any harmful emissions.
The sophisticated engine management system also recognises when the car comes to a halt and switches the engine off to conserve power and cut emissions, automatically firing it up again when necessary.
Because of this arrangement, there is never any need to charge the batteries of a Lexus Hybrid through any other means, such as by plugging it into a mains supply. Sufficient charge is always supplied to and held within this battery via the petrol engine.