Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Evolution of the Hybrid Car

Recently, the demand of a car which consumes less fuel and do not contribute to the air pollution has increased significantly and thus hybrid car was created to meet this demand. The gasoline price has skyrocketed and it makes the hybrid car even more popular. Basically, a hybrid car is a car that uses two power sources. First, it uses a rechargeable energy storage system and second, it also uses a typical fuelled power source. Due to these two sources of power, a hybrid car pollutes less and also consumes less fuel.

In 1899, Ferdinand Porsche has started the creating of the first hybrid electric vehicle. Then many people followed his invention and continue making these hybrid cars. Unfortunately, there was no major manufacturer that invested in this hybrid concept and did mass production until the late twentieth century. During this period, hybrid technology was commonly used to develop diesel electric submarines.

These diesel electric submarines operate very much the same as a typical hybrid car. The difference is the goal of these submarines was to conserve oxygen rather than consume less fuel. Following the latest invention, submarines have evolved and begun to use the nuclear power instead of diesel engine.

Recent hybrid car invention is believed to be started by an idealistic inventor called Victor Wouk. In the 1962, he was approach by Russell Feldman, one of the founders of Motorola, who recognized that car pollution is the greatest environmental problem and wanted to discover a solution for this condition. Wouk at last reached a clever solution by combining low emission benefit of an electric car with the power of gasoline engine to create a hybrid car.

Now, the invention of Wouk is used to help reduce fuel consumption as well as reduce air pollution. In the 1990s, Toyota Prius and Honda Insight were the most successful hybrid cars in the market. These two were considered as pioneers in the hybrid car concept which generally changed the way people think about cars.

Toyota Prius has been able to keep becoming the premier choice of hybrid car nowadays. At the first time, hybrid cars looks like an alien car and their cost is also very expensive. However, recent technology has made them looks more like conventional cars and much cheaper than its predecessors while saving fuel consumption in half.

In 2004, Ford has introduced the first hybrid SUV called Ford Escape Hybrid and a year later, Toyota also introduced a hybrid SUV called Highlander Hybrid. Because of the growing demand, other manufacturers also started releasing their version of the hybrid car in the market. Nowadays, there are over than 300,000 hybrid cars on the American roads and 95% of those are produced by Japanese. This is indeed a technology that is both environmental friendly and economical.

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