If you’ve been keen on following the developments in the automotive industry, then you know that the invention and adoption of hybrid vehicles span back over 100 years. This technology has existed for over a century with the first car being built by one Ferdinand Porsche in 1899. His concept was to combine the electric motor and the gasoline engine so that they can in essence supplement each other. His invention was well received and several units were produced. At the same time, different players entered the automotive industry and there was mass production of gasoline-powered vehicles which were being sold at a lower price compared to hybrid vehicles. Consequentially, the demand for hybrid vehicles became very low and their production came to a standstill. The reasons for failure were poor sales due to high prices and the fact that the vehicles had less power compared to the standard engine vehicles.
In 1960, efforts to reduce pollution brought about a renewed interest in electric and hybrid vehicles in the US. This was further catapulted in 1973 by the Arab oil embargo that brought about an oil crisis that resulted in skyrocketing gasoline prices and major shortages. This saw an increase in research and development of hybrid technologies by auto manufacturers. The late 1990s was marked by the production of several electric vehicles such as the Toyota RAV 4 EV but the same was not embraced by the intended market.
Hybrid technology experienced a major breakthrough in 1997 with the release of the Toyota Prius in Japan. This was the start of continuous and consistent production of the hybrid vehicles and in 1999, Honda Insight mass-produced HEVs for the US market. The Prius unit gave hybrid technology the foothold it needed in the automotive industry and many manufacturers have borrowed its technology.
Today, there is a notable adoption of hybrid vehicles locally which has been fueled by the ever-increasing environmental awareness and the need for fuel efficiency. As such, this is a “new wave” in our country and the care for these vehicles is yet to become common knowledge. Keep with us at Space Ya Magari as we demystify EV, PHEV, and Hybrid and make their care common knowledge!