The automotive industry's future: electric or electrified?

However, current EV sales in India are less than 1% of total vehicle sales, compared to a global figure of 2-3%. According to Lux Research's EV report, EV sales are expected to surpass ICE vehicle sales between 2035 and 2040. This forecast is naturally dependent on how customer preferences, technological developments, and policy measures shape up. As optimistic as one might wish, EVs are still seven to ten years away from making a dent in ICE sales in India.

While the benefits of an EV to the environment and consumers are undeniable, it is critical to understand the various types of eco-friendly vehicles on the market. Let's start with Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV), also known as electric vehicles because everything is powered by a battery. The next category is Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV), which have a smaller battery than Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV) but can operate on either battery or fuel. Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs), also known as hybrids, are gasoline-powered cars that contain a small battery and an electric motor and can run on either battery or fuel.

Finally, we have Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV), which primarily run on hydrogen as a fuel that combines with oxygen in the air, with the resulting energy stored in a battery inside the vehicle that powers the vehicle. Electrified vehicles are any of the four vehicle types listed above that have varying degrees of electrification.

Hybrid drivetrains combine the best of ICE and electric motors, and Lexus has been more prolific than any other luxury car manufacturer when it comes to hybrids, or Self Charging Hybrid Electric vehicles as we like to call them. Lexus history with hybrid vehicles dates back to 2005 when the company released its first hybrid, the RX 400h. It was the world's first luxury car to combine a high-performance gasoline engine with a powerful electric motor and a self-charging battery.

With Lexus Hybrid Drive, a petrol-electric full hybrid combination that is central to all of Lexus current luxury hybrid electric cars, the trade-off between power and efficiency was not an issue. Another significant advantage HEVs have over PHEVs and BEVs is that they do not require a plug to charge the battery.

A full hybrid system, such as the Lexus Hybrid Drive, has two independent power sources: a battery-powered electric motor and a gasoline-powered combustion engine. Either one can power the car on its own, or the power from both can be combined. The intelligence of the system ensures that when the petrol engine is running, it drives the generator to charge the battery. In low-speed urban areas, the generator turns off the gasoline engine and allows the electric motor to take over. This means that the vehicle produces no emissions. According to government tests conducted in Indian driving conditions, hybrid electric vehicles run more than 60% of the time and 40% of the distance as pure battery vehicles.

The Lexus Hybrid Drive technology is based on Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive technology. Since its introduction in Japan in August 1997, the hybrid system has sold over 19 million units worldwide through April 2022. Lexus has also sold over 2.3 million hybrid electric vehicles. Lexus Electrified is the new name for the ongoing evolution of Lexus electrification strategy, which began in 2005 with Lexus Hybrid Drive. Lexus aims to achieve 100% BEV sales by 2035, releasing the full potential of Lexus engineering.

Although the future is electric and bright, it may be prudent for the industry and society at large to consider hybrids as a bridge to this bright future.

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