The hybrid car was born out of our society’s need to reduce our overall dependence on oil, while also decreasing the amount of pollution emitted into the air by driving traditional gas powered vehicles. In fact, the hybrid car has received an enthusiastic welcome from consumers, especially with the quickly evolving gas engine technology.
The car takes advantage of dual power technology – one that combines the power of a gas fueled engine with the efficiency of a renewable energy source built into the vehicle. Not only does the hybrid vehicle consume less gas, but it also releases less pollution.
The first electric vehicle was actually produced by Ferdinand Porsche in 1899; his innovation paved the way for hybrid cars of today. Other inventors analyzed and improved upon Ferdinand Porsche’s innovations. Hybrid vehicles never stopped being produced; there has been a continuing interest in this type of technology. Unfortunately, the concept of hybrid vehicles was not embraced by any of the top car makers until the end of the 1990’s, which resulted in electric cars being unavailable on the mass market. Before that point, diesel electric hybrid submarines were the primary focus of hybrid technology.
Hybrid cars operate in a similar fashion as the diesel electric submarine. Unlike the hybrid car, which aims to expend less fuel, the hybrid submarine strove to use less oxygen. However, submarines began to use nuclear energy as their fuel source, rather than diesel.
Honda and Toyota brought the first hybrid cars to the mass market in the 1990’s, with their Insight and Prius, respectively. Their innovative injections of mass-produced hybrid vehicles into the automobile market revolutionized the way the public perceived vehicles and their environmental impact.
There was a gas and electric car that was designed and created by Victor Wouk, which consumed about half the gas that other cars did at the time. His hybrid car came into existence thirty years before Toyota caught the American market’s demand for a fuel efficient vehicle resulting from an unease with excessive oil consumption.
The creator of this original hybrid car passed away at the age of 86 in May 2005, with few people – even the hardcore hybrid enthusiasts – knowing about his key contributions to the movement. Americans had the knowledge and research to effectively pave the way to a mass produced hybrid vehicle. Unfortunately, as Wouk stated, virtually no one understood or knew about the innovations he created with the government program he ran.