Brief History Hybrid Car:
Do any of you know when the first hybrid car was introduced, and who designed it? The answer might just surprise you.
The First Hybrid Vehicle was made in 1899, by a young engineer named Ferdinand Porsche, and it was known as the Lohner Porsche. A petrol engine powered a generator that provided electricity to the four electric engines, which were placed in the wheel hubs. It had 7 horsepower, and was capable of speeds up to 30 miles per hour. This might seem sub-par by today’s standards, but remember this was a time where most people still used the horse to travel long distances.
There were a number of hybrid cars before the 1920’s, but the technology was pretty much abandoned in favor of gasoline powered engines. There are many contributing factors for this, roads were smoother and better than before, and internal combustion engines were better suited for long distance travel. Plus, the discovery of crude oil in Texas made gasoline more affordable.
The next hybrid vehicle of note came in 1969 with the General Motors XP-883. It had a two-cylinder combustion engine, and a DC electric engine. The batteries for the electric engine were recharged by plugging them into a regular wall outlet, and the vehicle was only capable of a top speed of 60 mph. Since most people didn’t want to carry a long extension cord to work, it proved impracticable.
A breakthrough for hybrid vehicles came in the year 1999 with the simultaneous launches of the Toyota Prius & the Honda Insight, these were the first modern hybrid cars to be sold in North America.
They both boasted a 70-horse power three-cylinder gasoline engine, and an electric motor that ran from batteries that were recharged from the braking systems. In 2000, gasoline prices shot through the roof, which lead to considerably higher sales for the hybrids.
Customers who wanted one were placed on a waiting list, and many had to pay well over the sticker price.
The success of the early Prius & Insight models brought a variety of hybrid cars from other manufacturers. In 2004, Ford released the 2005 Escape Hybrid.
Sport Utility vehicles enjoyed very high sales in the nineties, but higher gasoline prices coupled with a bad stigma caused a slow decline in sales that started soon after the turn of the century and continues to this day.
The Escape Hybrid allowed consumers to still have the versatility of an s.u.v, and have a gas miser as well. It was a crowning achievement in hybrid technology.
Today, the consumer has many choices in hybrid vehicles. They have grown from a novelty to a viable option. Hybrid cars will continue to Increase in Market Share, and the technology for How Hybrid Cars Work will just keep getting better!
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