The Lexus NX Plug-In Hybrid SUV: The Complete Guide For India

The Lexus NX Plug-In Hybrid SUV India
Price: N/A
Type of electric vehicle: Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
Body type: SUV
Battery size: 18.1 kWh
Electric range (WLTP): 40 miles
Tailpipe emissions: 21 - 25g (CO2/km)


Electric Cars: The Basics


For those of you new to zero-emission electric driving, we recommend a read of the following articles:


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The Lexus NX PHEV SUV


Lexus, renowned for the manufacture of luxury cars, is owned by the Japanese automotive behemoth, Toyota Motor Corporation. Lexus was created in 1989 to compete against Japanese rivals, Honda Motor Company and Nissan Motor Company, who had established their premium brands, Acura and Infiniti, respectively. However, work on the Lexus concept commenced as early as 1983.

The Lexus brand is now a well recognised global automotive brand in the premium segment, with its luxury cars sold in more than 90 countries. The United States continues to be its largest market. Though Lexus is relatively late to the global electrification (EV) race, the company has been involved with hybrid technology since 2005, the year the hybrid version of the RX crossover made its debut. The company has been a leader in ‘self-charging hybrid cars’. The company currently has 8 vehicles that use hybrid/ plug-in hybrid technology and has only one battery-electric vehicle (BEV). The company has the following plug-in electric vehicles (EVs):

The compact Lexus NX crossover SUV was introduced in 2014. Since its release, the SUV has sold well, to include becoming a best-selling SUV in Europe. The Lexus NX SUV is available as a ‘self-charging’ and a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV).

The PHEV was launched as part of the broader second-generation launch of the SUV in 2021. The Lexus NX PHEV is the first plug-in hybrid vehicle from the Japanese automotive manufacturer and shares the same powertrain as the RAV4 plug-in hybrid.

The Lexus PHEV has a respectable 18.1 kWh onboard EV battery, with a claimed zero-tailpipe emission electric range up to 40 miles (WLTP certified). This is certainly higher than the average PHEV (the average is closer to 25 miles). However, the real-world EV range will be lower, impacted by a number of factors, to include: driving profile, speed, passenger load, weather, road condition, wheel size etc. Assuming a 34 mile emission-free electric range is more realistic, which will be sufficient for most commutes. The EV also has regenerative braking to increase the electric range.

Do keep in mind that driving on e-mode is much cheaper than calling on the internal combustion engine (ICE). In fact, the more the EV is driven on the pure electric mode, the better is the overall fuel economy of the vehicle. The manufacturer claims that the Lexus PHEV has a fuel economy up to 313.8 mpg. To achieve anywhere close to the claimed MPG, driving the plug-in electric car on EV mode will be imperative.

If most of your driving is on the motorway, with limited use of the onboard EV battery, then the fuel economy will be closer to a conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) variant (44.1 mpg). Having said that, the Lexus NX PHEV can still be leveraged for shorter motorway travel. Of course, the NX 450+ EV also leverages the Lexus self-charging hybrid technology for better vehicle efficiency.

The NX plug-in has a 6.6 kW onboard charger. The EV battery can be fully charged in 2 hours 45 minutes using a 7 kW dedicated home EV charger. Yes a 3-PIN domestic socket can be used for charging the EV, however, we at e-zoomed discourage the use a domestic socket for charging an EV. Also faster and safer to use a dedicated EV charger. For public charging, the EV will still continue to use AC charging, as the PHEV is not DC charging compatible. Most PHEVs do not offer DC charging compatibility.

The all-wheel drive NX PHEV pairs a 2.5-litre petrol engine (4-cylinder) with an electric motor. The electric motor is placed at the rear of the electric vehicle (EV), enabling all-wheel drive (AWD). On EV mode, the e-SUV can achieve a top speed of 83 mph. The NX 450+ plug-in SUV can achieve 0-62 mph in 6.3 seconds (maximum power: 306 hp). The top speed on the EV is 124 mph. As is the case with electric vehicles, the NX PHEV benefits from instant torque.

When on electric mode, the tailpipe emissions are zero, however, when using the internal combustion engine (ICE), the SUV has tailpipe emissions between 21 – 25g CO2/km, far lower, compared to the conventional combustion engine variant (147g CO2/km).

The Lexus Safety System+ comes as standard. The higher trim levels offer: blind spot monitor (BSM), rear cross traffic alert and braking (RCTAB), adaptive variable suspension (AVS), smart entry and start system, 20″ alloy wheels, 14″ touchscreen display, sunroof and more. The PHEV uses the latest infotainment system from Lexus, a significant improvement compared to the previous generations.

Though Lexus does not sell the NX PHEV in India, it does sell self-charging NX vehicles.


PROS CONS
Lexus high quality interior, specifications & improved infotainment systemCheaper plug-in SUV alternatives available
Striking exterior styling and good build qualityDriving is comfortable but not exhilarating
Good zero-tailpipe emission range (40 miles) and fuel economyRear seats not as spacious

Gallery


The Lexus NX PHEV SUV (credit: Lexus)


One of the key advantages of driving an electric vehicle (EV), is that, it is cheaper to drive, compared to conventional internal combustion engine (ICE), petrol and diesel vehicles. For many years, we have witnessed a significant increase in prices at petrol pumps across India. However, this is not an ‘India’ only trend, but a global trend. We can continue to expect an inflation in global petrol and diesel prices for the foreseeable future.

Both, a pure electric car and a plug-in hybrid electric car, offer significant savings on driving costs per mile, when driven on zero-tailpipe emission electric mode. In India, filling a petrol or diesel car can cost anything between Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000. As an example, the very popular Audi Q7 diesel SUV has a fuel capacity of 85 litres. Assuming an average cost per litre of Rs 90, the cost of filling a full tank will be up to Rs 7,650!

In comparison, the all-electric Audi e-tron SUV , which is now available in India, and a similar size to the Audi Q7, can be fully recharged for less than Rs 1,000. Put another way, charging the Audi electric SUV, can save up to 85% compared to filling a full tank of fuel (in India, the average cost for residential electricity is between Rs 5 to Rs 10 per kWh).

At an average one can expect a cost per km of Rs 1 for a zero-emission EV, while for an equivalent petrol or diesel vehicle, the cost per km could be up to Rs 7 per km. The annual cost savings achieved by switching to electric driving is significant! The sooner you switch to green cars, the sooner you can start saving money. That is simply the bottom-line!


At A Glance
EV Type:Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
Body Type:SUV
Engine:Petrol-Electric
Available In India:No

Variants (3 Options)
Premium Pack
F Sport
Takumi

EV Battery & Emissions
EV Battery Type:Lithium-ion
EV Battery Capacity:Available in one battery size: 18.1 kWh
Charging:DC charging not available. Onboard charger 6.6 kW (0% – 100%: 2 hrs 45 mins)
Charge Port:Type 2
EV Cable Type:Type 2
Tailpipe Emissions:21 – 25g (CO2/km)
Warranty:8 years or 100,000 miles

Charging Times (Overview)
Slow charging AC (3 kW – 3.6 kW):6 – 12 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SOC)
Fast charging AC (7 kW – 22 kW):3 – 8 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Rapid charging AC (43 kW):0-80%: 20 mins to 60 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Rapid charging DC (50 kW+):0-80%: 20 mins to 60 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Ultra rapid charging DC (150 kW+):0-80% : 20 mins to 40 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Tesla Supercharger (120 kW – 250 kW):0-80%: up to 25 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)

Dimensions
Height (mm):1660
Width (mm):1865
Length (mm):4660
Wheelbase (mm):2690
Turning Circle (m):N/A
Boot Space (L):521

NX 450h+ PHEV
EV Battery Capacity:18.1 kWh
Pure Electric Range (WLTP):40 miles
Electric Energy Consumption (Wh/km):N/A
Fuel Consumption (WLTP):256.8 – 313.8 mpg
Charging:DC charging not available. Onboard charger 6.6 kW (0% – 100%: 2 hrs 45 mins)
Top Speed:124 mph (EV speed:83 mph)
0-62 mph:6.3 seconds
Drive:All-wheel drive (AWD)
Max Power (HP):306
Torque (Nm):227
Transmission:Automatic
Seats:5
Doors:5
Weight (kg):1,990
Colours:9
NCAP Safety Rating:Five-Star

Pure Electric Cars Available In India


For most of us in India, recognising an electric car on our roads will be a challenge. Compared to the more matured EV markets, like China and Europe, the availability of battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) in India is still limited. Having said that, the leading automotive manufacturers in India, like Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra, have demonstrated leadership in the development and introduction of electric vehicles (EVs) in India, to include, the Tata Nexon EV and the Mahindra eVerito. Tata announced recently it had increased its sale of EVs in India by a whopping 353% in FY22 compared to FY21. Tata sold 19,106 EVs in FY22.

India currently has up to 20 pure electric cars on sale, ranging from Rs 11.99 to Rs 2.05 Crore. Leading international automotive brands like Audi AG, BMW AG, Hyundai Motor Company, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), Mercedes-Benz, MG Motors, Porsche AG & the Volvo Group have introduced plug-in pure electric cars in India. We can expect many more international automotive companies to follow suit, to include, the famed EV manufacturer, Tesla Inc. In fact, Elon Musk has already made public his intentions to sell Tesla electric cars in India.

For the successful development of the electric driving market, the deployment of widespread EV charging infrastructure is a prerequisite, to include, charging at home and public EV charging stations. In India, electric car charging infrastructure is still at very nascent stages. The total number of public charge points in India are currently a mere 1,742. EV chargers installed at homes is also at a nascent stage.

Lastly, the introduction of cheaper electric cars with longer ranges is vital in building confidence with potential buyers to migrate to zero-tailpipe emission electric cars. EVs at a price point below Rs 20 Lakhs will be key in spurring growth in the Indian EV market. Below is a list of BEVs currently available in India.


EV Type Of EV Price
Audi e-tronBattery-Electric Vehicle (BEV)Rs 1.00 Crore
Audi RS e-tron GTBattery-Electric Vehicle (BEV)Rs 2.05 Crore
Audi e-tron SportbackBattery-Electric Vehicle (BEV)Rs 1.19 Crore
Audi e-tron GTBattery-Electric Vehicle (BEV)Rs 1.8 Crore
BMW iX Electric SAVBattery-Electric Vehicle (BEV)Rs 1.16 Crore
Hyundai Kona ElectricBattery-Electric Vehicle (BEV)Rs 23.79 Lakhs
Jaguar I-PACEBattery-Electric Vehicle (BEV)Rs 1.05 Crore
Mercedes-Benz EQCBattery-Electric Vehicle (BEV)Rs 1.06 Crore
MG ZS EVBattery-Electric Vehicle (BEV)Rs 21.49 Lakhs
Porsche TaycanBattery-Electric Vehicle (BEV)Rs. 1.5 Crore
Porsche Cayenne E Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)Rs 1.58 Crore
Tata Tigor EVBattery-Electric Vehicle (BEV)Rs 11.99 Lakhs
Tata Nexon Battery-Electric Vehicle (BEV)Rs 14.24 Lakhs
Volvo XC90Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)Rs 95 Lakhs



Author

Martina Giobbio

Like, many in her generation, Martina is very passionate about protecting the environment and creating a more sustainable future. Though she is new to the electric driving sector, her drive to learn and contribute is unparalleled. Martina has a Bachelor Degree in Italian Humanities and a Master Degree in Communication from the University of Milan. She has previously worked in press offices and a publishing house. She loves writing and reading.

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