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Did you think hybrid automobiles were a new idea?


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The hybrid automobile is as old as the automobile itself. Here is a hybrid that was on the streets in the 19th century.

This is a photo of what is considered the world's first hybrid. It was designed and built by Dr. Porsche who is much more famous for his automobile company Porsche and was the inventor of the VW Beetle. However before he was into high speed vehicles and cars to the masses he worked on several electric car designs including this one from the late 1890s. This was a pure plug in hybrid as the electric motors on the wheels completely drove the car while the gasoline motor was relegated to generating electricity. This is the same thing that GM is trying to do with the Volt.

It's remarkable when you consider there was essentially no electronic technology at the time and digital electronics were not even conceived of then.


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I'm curious how efficient it was though. Compared to GM I can't imagine it would be much worse than what they're giving us with the Volt. All kidding aside though, cars like the Tesla Roadster are the ones that are perfecting use of electric engines in automobiles. Hybrid technologies are simply a bridge between. Unfortunately it has become a very long bridge that hopefully will be ending in the near-term.

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