Hybrid Cars * Hybrid Vehicles * Electric Cars * Alternative Fuel Vehicles

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hybrid vehicles

Hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles have been around for over 200 years - long before the gas powered engine was invented. It was back in 1769 that the first steam powered motor carriage was invented. About a hundred years later, electric cars were developed and it wasn't until 1899 that the first true Hybrid Car was invented by Dr. Ferdinand Porche. This was the first petrol-electric car and 300 of these vehicles were actually produced. As the years went on, more petrol-electric vehicles were produced but cheap petrol and advances in automobile production killed off the hybrid cars.

Interest in hybrid vehicles surfaced again in the 70's. This came in reaction to the Arab oil embargo which caused long lines at gas pumps and sky rocketing fuel prices. This energy crisis intensified the search for more fuel efficient transportation. In 1976, Toyota built its first hybrid, a small sports car with a gas-turbine generator supplying current to an electric motor.

Today, auto makers have been making huge strides in hybrid technology and alternative fuel sources. They have also designed more "useful" vehicles, such as SUV's, small trucks, and mid-size sedans, which have hybrid engineering and appeal to more consumers.

Alternative fuels are derived from sources other than petroleum, thus reducing our dependence on imported oil. These fuels produce less pollution than gasoline or diesel. So far, scientists have come up with the following alternative fuels:

  • Ethanol
  • Biodiesel
  • Natural Gas
  • Propane
  • Hydrogen

Are you still having a tough time separating hybrid truth from reality? You're not alone. The warp-speed adoption of hybrids into popular culture and into hundreds of thousands of American driveways, has produced more than a little confusion and mis-information. Most industry analysts predict the continued growth of gas-electric vehicles, with estimates ranging from 600,000 to 800,000 hybrid sales in the United States by 2010. And by 2012, automakers will introduce plug-in vehicles as well as full electric cars. So fasten your seatbelts, it is going to be a wild and exciting ride.