Lexus NX Plug-in Hybrid driving tips

Lexus has many years of hybrid drive experience under its belt, but we broke new ground in 2022 with the arrival of our first plug-in hybrid model, the NX 450h+. To make the most of the NX 450h+’s improved efficiency, we have some Lexus NX Plug-in Hybrid driving tips and advice that will help drivers to increase the amount of time spent running in zero-emissions mode.

Part of the second-generation NX line-up, the NX 450h+ uses the same hybrid set-up as our other models – with a petrol engine and drive battery that powers an additional electric motor – but battery capacity has increased, and there’s now a plug socket that means you can charge the battery when the NX 450h+ is parked.

That means owners can experience more emissions-free driving for longer, with more than 40 miles of all-electric driving possible when the battery is fully charged. That could be enough to cover all your journeys in a day, but there’s always the backup of the NX’s petrol engine if you need to travel further.

Keep the battery charged

To make the most of the Lexus NX 450h+, it’s best to keep the battery fully charged. This can be done via a domestic plug socket, although Lexus recommends fitting a wall box to provide the best charging experience. A wall box fitted by our installation partner British Gas offers greater control over charging, with smartphone connectivity letting owners take advantage of cheaper electricity rates by setting charging times for the system.

If you’re out and about and have used up the NX’s 40-plus mile range, then the hybrid tech will keep you running until you’re able to charge up again. This will take as little as two and a half hours, so unless you’re travelling somewhere with a plug that you can use, it’s probably best to let the engine take the strain while you’re travelling.

Do plug-in hybrids charge while driving?

In the case of the Lexus NX 450h+, the short answer is yes. Here at Lexus, we would strongly recommend charging the battery whenever you’re parked to make the most of the car’s electric drive. The battery never actually runs out, but when the capacity drops to a very low figure, the car defaults to the same hybrid drive set-up that is used by the NX 300h and all of our other Lexus hybrids.

Lexus NX Plug-in Hybrid driving tips

This means energy is harvested back into the battery when the car is decelerating, whether that’s coasting or under braking, and thanks to the large capacity unit fitted to the NX 450h+, even more energy can be stored. To achieve this, then smooth driving using concentration and anticipation of what’s happening around you.

How can I drive a hybrid efficiently?

If you’re smooth with your driving, then you can make the most of the battery charge you have available, and you’ll also help to save fuel once the petrol engine cuts in, too. Driving in anticipation means looking ahead and being aware of your surroundings. If you’re approaching a junction, crossing or roundabout, look at the sides of the road to see if there are any other road users present, and lift off the throttle early if there is the possibility that you might need to come to a halt.

Lexus NX Plug-in Hybrid driving tips

Backing off early means that you’re harvesting energy back into the battery as you’re slowing, and it could also mean that the hazard has cleared before you reach it, so you don’t need to come to a complete halt.

Keeping your speed down is another way to help save battery energy. Tests have shown that travelling on the motorway at 60mph instead of 70mph can improve fuel consumption by around 10 per cent, while hardly impacting journey times at all.


  1. Hi,
    Would I be correct in assuming that the NX 450+ will achieve approximately 40-45 miles on pure electric before changing to petrol where in approximately another 40 miles the car will be ready to revert back to pure electric power for another 40-45 miles and so on ?
    Hope this makes sense.

    Thank you

    1. Hello Andy,
      Not quite. The large battery gives the NX 450h+ a range up to 40 miles in pure EV mode.
      Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) cars charge their EV battery by attaching a cable to the vehicle and a power source.
      The EV battery in the NX 450h+ can be recharged either by connecting the car to a wall box or through the self-charging functionality built into every Lexus hybrid.
      If the EV battery runs out of charge, the NX 450h+ becomes an efficient self-charging hybrid with the petrol engine powering the car and recharging the battery.
      With the new Lexus NX an element of self-charging will also take place meaning the battery will slowly be refilled when the conventional engine is in use.
      You can read more about this on our website here –

      1. Hi , when the conventional petrol engine is in use, how long will it take to charge the battery while you are driving?

        1. Hello Andy, thanks for your question.

          Unfortunately, there is no set data to answer this. The vehicle has various modes that need to be taken into account and certain settings you can set accordingly.

          In full EV mode the HV traction battery is used to drive the vehicle and the HV battery is discharged. Regenerative power is also returned to the HV battery where possible depending on driving style and conditions.

          In HEV (Hybrid/Electric vehicle) mode, the ICE(internal combustion engine) and the HV battery can be used to drive the vehicle and also some regenerative braking power can be used to recharge the HV battery. Different driving styles and conditions need to be taken into account here.

          There is also a battery saving mode, this means the ICE is used as much as possible and maximum regenerative power is utilised to charge the HV battery where possible. Again, the driving styles and conditions need to be taken into account.

          If you would like further information on this, please see your online Owner’s Manual.

          Hope this helps.


    1. Hello Richard, thanks for your question.

      Please provide a Vehicle Registration so that we can look into this.


          1. Hello Richard,
            Thank you for your reply.
            Unfortunately, adjusting the regenerative braking in the NX 450h+ is not possible.

    1. You can control the regenerative level by depressing the brake pedal. The more the brake pedal is pressed the more regeneration power is applied. Once a certain point is surpassed, the hydraulic brakes activate to stop the vehicle. When the vehicle is in econo mode you can visually see the amount of regen by the gauge level in the charge section. Once the level goes beyond the max charge level, the hydraulic brakes are activated.

  2. does having a fully charged hybrid battery improve highway mileage using the hybrid mode, or is the only benefit using the ev mode?
    one would think that the battery would allow a higher percentage of electric engine usage during the hybrid mode, yet I find no information that it does.

    1. Hello Alan, thanks for your question.

      Our Technical Team have advised that the NX 450h+ will allow you to drive the vehicle for approximately 40 miles in pure EV mode, up to a max speed of 83mph. It will then kick into hybrid mode and optimise the fuel economy.

      Hope this makes sense.


  3. or another way of phrasing , if I charge my NX450h+ but drive it in hybrid mode like i would my prius or Camry Hybrid, does it have better mileage than a 450h ?

  4. I am still trying to figure out how to maximize my fuel efficiency. Today is a real life situation I had about a 70 mile commute. The first 18 miles were local roads the last 18 miles were local roads at about 32 miles of highway in between Emanuel says that on the highway hybrid mode is more efficient.
    Should I strategically drive in electric for the first 18 and in the last 18 and hybrid in between, or should I just drive 37 miles pure electric and the last 33 when the electric is no longer functioning switch to hybrid?

    Also, another question about the charging mode. I’m trying to figure out a purpose of that given that the laws of thermodynamics always has a loss of energy, to drive using the combustion engine to charge the hybrid battery is a net loss of energy given that the combustion engine is not 100% efficient, so I cannot envision any real life situation where this would be beneficial. Can you elaborate where this has some benefits?
    Alan Saunders

    1. Hello Alan, thanks for your question.

      Our Technical Team have advised that it is difficult to directly answer this, since driving style, temperature and terrain are all factors which influence hybrid driving. However, they recommend using pure electric for town driving and hybrid for motorway driving. This is because the combustion engine is more efficient at higher speeds and therefore, not wasting fuel idling in traffic.

      In answer to your second question, one of the benefits of charging mode is recharging the hybrid battery ready for town and city driving, where only EV mode is permitted. Charging mode will allow you to have the hybrid battery for such situations.

      We hope this helps.


  5. I cannot charge my NX450 h at the moment. The display says Charging Port Lid Open when I insert the connector and beneath that says Hold and then there are 2 overlaid squares. The green light does not come on in the port.

    1. Hello Rob, thanks for your comment.

      We are sorry to hear about this issue.

      Please contact your Lexus Centre for assistance with this.


  6. Another question, is there a problem with charging too often ? I charge my Lexus at night and I work 32 miles away which means I can get to work with about 8 miles to spare. I have a charger at work, which then means I can drive home without using any petrol. Does charging twice a day affect the life of the battery

    1. Hello Alan, thanks for your question.

      Please provide your Vehicle Registration so that we can look into this.


    1. Hi Alan,

      Our Technical Team have advised that charging the battery twice a day will not harm the battery. However, it is advised to charge a battery from near empty to full, rather than little charges sporadically. This will prolong the battery life span.


  7. Some online posters say that we should follow an 80/20 rule with charging, only charge up to 80% and never let the battery deplete below 20%. others say a buffer is built in and 100 is really 80% and zero is 20$.what is the truth?
    Alan Saunders

    1. Hello Alan, thanks for your question.

      Our Technical Team have advised using the battery gauge as a guide of when to charge and carry out a full charge, until the vehicle cuts the charge off, as designed.


      1. I have just taken delivery of my new Nx450h a few days ago and this advice is very helpful , on how a good long charge is better than to keep topping it up after modest use, thanks!

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