Here is a guideline to the hybrid car and a walk through its varied history:
1839 - In Scotland, Robert Anderson built the first electric car.
1870 - Sir David Soloman built an electric car that operated off an electric engine with battery power. The batteries were quite heavy, though, so the car did not get good speed and could only go a small distance.
1886 - In England, an electric taxi cab was used. The taxi cab used a 28 cell battery and an electric motor.
1888 - Two more electric vehicles made their debut. Immisch & Company were hired to build an electric carriage for the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. This carriage ran off a 24 cell battery and a one horsepower electric engine. Also this year, Magnus Volk created an electric car with only three wheels.
1890 - 1910 - During this time period the battery technology used to power electric vehicles grew with many significant advances. Specifically, the lead-acid battery and the nickel-iron battery, both that are still used today, were created.
1897 - The Bersey Cab, an electric cab that could drive for 50 miles and ran off a 40 cell battery, was used by the London Electric Cab Company.
1897 - 500 electric cars were built by the Pope Manufacturing Company of Connecticut.
1898 - The first front wheel drive car, built by Dr. Ferdinand Porsche was built in this year. It was called the Lohner Electric Chaise. Porsche also built a hybrid car which used an internal combustion engine in addition to the battery.
1900 - In America, car companies were introducing electric cars which were heavily favored over gasoline cars.
1916 - Baker of Cleveland and Woods of Chicago, two of the top electric vehicle manufacturers started introducing hybrids. The cars were limited, though, with top speeds of 35 mph.
1970 - 1979 The US government began running tests on electric cars and hybrid cars. This was an effort to help produce more environmentally friendly vehicles.
1975 - AM General started developing electric vans for use by the US Postal Service.
1976 - Congress passed a Public Law to help in the development of hybrid and electric cars.
1980 - Briggs and Stratton developed a hybrid car that combined a gasoline engine with an electric motor.
1989 - Audi introduced their line of electric cars.
1997 - Toyota introduced the Prius in Japan.
1997 - 1999 - Multiple automobile manufacturers introduced electric and hybrid cars in California.
1999 - Honda introduced the Insight which became the first hybrid to sell to the mass market.
2000 - Toyota introduced the Prius to the America market.
Present - The demand for hybrid cars is at a all time high. Technology keeps developing and hybrid cars today are comparable to gasoline powered cars, making them a viable choice for consumers.
Also see ...