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I am looking for a good web site that can explain how a particular hybrid works. I am looking at the Lexus RX460h model and would like to understand the workings and costs involved (battery replacement ??) before I buy one.

Well, Lexus's own website seem to have a lot. As for this hybrid model, it has the same warranty on the hybrid system as standard Toyota hybrids, that is, 8-years, 100,000 miles.

Battery replacement is probably something you shouldn't worry about much due to the warranty as stated above, unless you plan to drive like a cross-country trucker.

The RX460h comes in either FWD or AWD, but the BIG difference is that the AWD model has a second electric motor just for the rear, yet the total horsepower for both models are 295 HP.

On this and other boards, I've mentioned on how the battery pack in Prius's work and how they may fail. Typically you'll be well over 150K miles before a battery "cell pack" will fail. The total battery pack in a Toyota hybrid consists of multiple "cell packs" of like 6 individual batteries (each about the size of a D-cell battery) which are bundled together to make a cell. If a cell-pack fails, you will get a warning, but the entire battery pack will still function, just perhaps on a shorter range and decreased gas mileage. If you go into a dealer to fix this, only the failing cell-pack will be replaced, not the entire battery-pack, as many folks needlessly worry about.

Unless my sources have new information, there haven't been many complaints or anecdotes on "real life" battery replacements, except for if a hybrid gets into a rear-end car crash. There's a rumor that when Toyota tested and built the first-gen Prius for the home market, they made sure that the batteries didn't need replacing until after 180K miles. Again, a rumor, FWIW.

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