The History Of The Hybrid Vehicle

By Colin Jones

Just where did a hybrid vehicle get it's origins? Read on to find out. Hybrid cars are very popular to modern car buyers and there are many reasons why that should be. But before you even think about choosing which hybrid car to purchase, you might want to know a little about the history of the hybrid first.

It is surprising, but hybrid cars were around even before gas-powered cars. In about the year 1665, a Jesuit priest by the name of Ferdinand Verbeist started making plans for a new type of vehicle. That vehicle or cart would be very simple, nothing complex. Simple was all he wanted.

So Ferdinand planned out a car that would have four wheels and would run only on steam. It took about fifteen years of work for Ferdinand to go through with his plan. He laboured to perfect his dream car. But no one knows if he ever finished because there is no evidence that his concept ever came into existence.

Then in 1769, a man by the name of Nicholas Cugnot developed a carriage that was driven by steam. This carriage did in fact work, and it could go at six miles per hour. This project was great, but it was difficult to get the amount of steam needed that would allow the car to go any significant distance.

A break through in hybrid car design finally came when Robert Anderson developed an electrically powered car in 1839. It was the first of its breed and was built in Scotland.

This electric car was a highly applauded innovation of its time. However, the only problem was that it was very difficult to recharge the car's battery. Some pioneers came after Anderson, but they too had a hard time getting the battery recharged easily.

Finally in the year 1898 Porsche produced an electric and fuel combustion engine that was the first of its time. The car was called the Lohner Electric Chaise, and it could go up to 40 miles just using batteries.

Within a short space of time, pioneers combined both gas and a battery powered engines to power what would turn into today's hybrid vehicle. In 1999, Honda made its jump into the US market. It brought out the Honda Insight, which was a lightweight two-door hybrid vehicle. Since then, hybrid vehicles have been evolving and improving into what we see on the roads these days. Hybrid cars are no longer just for the techies who think it's nice to combine battery and liquid fuel to get them where they want to go. Hybrid cars started out simple, and they still are quite simple today.

Now hybrid cars are becoming more and more popular as people understand them more. Hybrid cars in the 21st century saw a boom in sales when the Toyota Prius came out on the market. It was the first hybrid with four doors that was marketed in America.

Then, Ford's Escape hybrid became the very first SUV hybrid ever made. So there, you have it, the history of the hybrid vehicle, today's modern car. - 29952

About the Author:

Sign Up for our Free Newsletter

Enter email address here