Wednesday, July 04, 2007
Should we ticket the Lexus RX-400 Hybrid? Yes!
An angry owner of a Lexus RX400 hybrid 4x4 wrote to us today: "dear bunch off offensive, chippy, clearly nothing better to do tossers.
i have just returned to my lexus rx400h to find a rather bitter note on my car suggesting that i am an offender,' conned or just overexcited when i saw an advert for a shiny 4 x 4'. if you lot weren't so thick you would realise that 'h' stands for hybrid. a hybrid car is an alternative fuel source car and therefore one of the greenest cars on the road. i won't go into further details, but suggest that if any of your 'campaigners' can read, they might want to look up some information about this car before leaving these polluting waste of time leaflets on our vehicles."
Our response: "As I understand it the RX400 hybrid is NOT one of the cleanest cars on the road, and Lexus was recently told off by the ASA for pretending to be green. It may indeed be one of the cleanest 4x4s on the road, emitting at around 190 grams CO2/km, but that still makes it an average polluter.
See the specs from the Lexus website for yourself.
The Toyota Prius gets about 120 gm CO2 / km, whereas an electric car is 0 rated and a large Range Rover emits about 370gm CO2 / km. The average we need to get ALL cars to by 2008 is 140 gms CO2/km, to put this in perspective.
Then there is the pedestrian safety issue. The RX400 doesn't have an official EuroNCAP rating, but it still is a heavy vehicle (heavier in fact with the extra battery weight) so your vehicle is dangerous by it's height, weight and design for children, pedestrians and cyclists.
That should explain why one of your neighbors dared to ticket you. It should also show how consumers are being conned by the advertising hype. RX400's are good for Americans getting off their addiction to monstrosities like Hummers. Think of it as a nicotine patch. But in the UK, where 4x4s aren't so big and stupid, a Lexus RX400H isn't really going to do anything other than make someone feel warm and fuzzy about their big hybrid car with an 'h'.