Lexus RX Owners Manual (RX450h): Hybrid system features

Your vehicle is a hybrid vehicle. It has characteristics different from conventional vehicles. Be sure you are closely familiar with the characteristics of your vehicle, and operate it with care.

The hybrid system combines the use of a gasoline engine and an electric motor (traction motor) according to driving conditions, improving fuel efficiency and reducing exhaust emissions.

Lexus RX. Hybrid system

The illustration is an example for explanation and may differ from the actual item.

  1. Gasoline engine
  2. Front electric motor (traction motor)
  3. Rear electric motor (traction motor)

When stopped/during start off

The gasoline engine stops* when the vehicle is stopped. During start off, the electric motor (traction motor) drives the vehicle. At slow speeds or when traveling down a gentle slope, the engine is stopped* and the electric motor (traction motor) is used.

When the shift lever is in N, the hybrid battery (traction battery) is not being charged.

*: When the hybrid battery (traction battery) requires charging or the engine is warming up, etc., the gasoline engine will not automatically stop.

During normal driving

The gasoline engine is predominantly used. The electric motor (traction motor) charges the hybrid battery (traction battery) as necessary.

When accelerating sharply

When the accelerator pedal is depressed heavily, the power of the hybrid battery (traction battery) is added to that of the gasoline engine via the electric motor (traction motor).

When braking (regenerative braking)

The wheels operate the electric motor (traction motor) as a power generator, and the hybrid battery (traction battery) is charged.

Vehicle proximity notification system

When the gasoline engine is off while driving, a sound is produced to warn pedestrians, people riding bicycles or other people and vehicles in the surrounding area that the vehicle is approaching. The pitch of the sound varies according to the vehicle speed. When the vehicle speed becomes approximately 15 mph (25 km/h) or more, the notification sound turns off.

■ Regenerative braking In the following situations, kinetic energy is converted to electric energy and deceleration force can be obtained in conjunction with the recharging of the hybrid battery (traction battery).

  • The accelerator pedal is released while driving with the shift lever in D or S.
  • The brake pedal is depressed while driving with the shift lever in D or S.

■ EV indicator The EV indicator comes on when the vehicle is driven using only the electric motor (traction motor) or the gasoline engine is stopped.

Lexus RX. Hybrid system

■ Conditions in which the gasoline engine may not stop The gasoline engine starts and stops automatically. However, it may not stop automatically in the following conditions:

  • During gasoline engine warm-up
  • During hybrid battery (traction battery) charging
  • When the temperature of the hybrid battery (traction battery) is high or low
  • When the heater is switched on

■ Charging the hybrid battery (traction battery) As the gasoline engine charges the hybrid battery (traction battery), the battery does not need to be charged from an outside source. However, if the vehicle is left parked for a long time the hybrid battery (traction battery) will slowly discharge. For this reason, be sure to drive the vehicle at least once every few months for at least 30 minutes or 10 miles (16 km). If the hybrid battery (traction battery) becomes fully discharged and you are unable to start the hybrid system, contact your Lexus dealer.

■ After the 12-volt battery has discharged or when the terminal has been removed and installed during exchange, etc.

The gasoline engine may not stop even if the vehicle is being driven by the hybrid battery (traction battery). If this continues for a few days, contact your Lexus dealer.

■ Sounds and vibrations specific to a hybrid vehicle There may be no engine sound or vibration even though the vehicle is able to move with the "READY" indicator is illuminated. For safety, make sure to shift the shift lever to P and apply the parking brake when parked.

The following sounds or vibrations may occur when the hybrid system is operating and are not a malfunction:

  • Motor sounds may be heard from the engine compartment.
  • Sounds may be heard from the hybrid battery (traction battery) behind the rear seats when the hybrid system starts or stops.
  • Relay operating sounds such as a snap or soft clank will be emitted from the hybrid battery (traction battery), behind the rear seats, when the hybrid system is started or stopped.
  • Sounds from the hybrid system may be heard when the back door is open.
  • Sounds may be heard from the transmission when the gasoline engine starts or stops, when driving at low speeds, or during idling.
  • Engine sounds may be heard when accelerating sharply.
  • Sounds may be heard due to regenerative braking when the brake pedal is depressed or as the accelerator pedal is released.
  • Vibration may be felt when the gasoline engine starts or stops.
  • Cooling fan sounds may be heard from the air intake vents under the rear seats.

■ Vehicle proximity notification system In the following cases, the vehicle proximity notification system may be difficult for surrounding people to hear.

  • In very noisy areas
  • In the wind or the rain

Also, as the vehicle proximity notification system is installed on the front of the vehicle, it may be more difficult to hear from the rear of the vehicle compared to the front.

■ Maintenance, repair, recycling, and disposal Contact your Lexus dealer regarding maintenance, repair, recycling and disposal. Do not dispose of the vehicle yourself.

■ Customization Some functions can be customized.

    Hybrid system
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    Hybrid system precautions
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