Lexus ES receives lithium ion battery in Japan

The Lexus ES 300h is returning its nickel metal hybrid battery in Japan for a lithium-ion one. The step will improve consumption, but we should not expect it in Europe for the time being.

The lithium-ion battery apparently supports the 2.5-liter four-cylinder of the ES drivetrain even better than its predecessor, because the specified consumption decreases to 1 in 22.3. This means that the medium-sized sedan is theoretically 1.7 km further on every liter than before.

If the new battery reduces fuel consumption, there seems little reason to reserve the change to the home country, but according to the importer, the renewed powertrain will not come to Europe. We will still be told the exact ‘why’, but it is already clear that parent company Toyota likes and purposefully committed to the use of different battery types.


Lithium-ion batteries are mainly used for plug-in hybrids from the previous Prius. In the meantime, however, the Corolla Hybrid also has such a battery, if it is a hatchback or a Touring Sports with the 1.8 powertrain. A sedan with the 1.8 comes from another factory and has a nickel-metal hybrid battery and the more powerful 2.0 Hybrids always get such a battery.

Which model gets which battery depends, among other things, on the character of the powertrain concerned and the availability of raw materials. Toyota states that it likes to bet on both battery forms, so that they both continue to develop. With that development, nickel-metal hybrid batteries and lithium-ion batteries would now operate at an equivalent level within the brand in terms of both performance and size.

Other changes

Simultaneously with the new battery, Lexus is making some minor changes to the ES for the Japanese market. For example, the digital exterior mirrors available there must now work more pleasantly through the addition of auxiliary lines. They will also be available for the first time in combination with the F Sport version. In addition, the infotainment system (finally) includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, which happened earlier in Europe.

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