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What is the history of Hybrid electric vehicle?

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In 1834, the electric vehicle concept was developed whereas, in 1895, the gasoline vehicle concept took birth. The race to conquer the market ignited with only 40% of the electric vehicles being sold by 1900, trying to capture the US market. In 1898, the world’s first HEV was built by Dr. Ferdinand Porsche in Germany. He used the technic of spinning a generator using an ICE to provide power to electric motors placed in the wheel hubs.

In 1903, Krieger company used a gasoline engine for power generation in an electric motor where electricity was produced from a battery pack. The modern series hybrid electric vehicle is similar in pattern to both hybrid vehicles. The third concept was by a Belgian carmaker in the 1900s, Pieper, where he mated a small gasoline engine with an electric motor under the car seat, it was known as 3.5 hp “Voiturette”.

The car was cruising with the battery being charged with an electric motor used as a generator. The test was also done for climbing a grade in electric motor, it used the gas engine, which is mounted coaxially to help the engine for driving the vehicle.


A US engineer, H.Piper, in 1905 files his idea for a patent where an electric motor was used to assist ICE, the vehicle is enabled to achieve 25 mph, it falls under the petrol-electric hybrid vehicle category. The designs for both hybrid vehicles are similar to modern Hybrid electric vehicles. In 1920, Baker of Cleveland and Woods of Chicago dominated the EV markets, but the cost of the gasoline cars was cheaper and since the consumer market is heavily dominated by the price, HEV started losing the market.

As of now, with Li-ion batteries charging the vehicle, and with superfast chargers, the market somehow got tilted to new opportunities with the consumer being more advanced and in accepting to environmental policies. Since the cost of such vehicles are also been taken care of by the government with subsidies.

The policies are somehow working in favor of the industries and more and more companies are showing interest and attitude towards the new target, even though the history and the past scenario shows failure and kind of failure to achieve the mass target or even create a marginal amount of profit. The future somehow looks bright and more futuristic, with more advanced solutions and narrowing down the cost with high-tech batteries, clearly shows that past failures can be overcome with new and inventive solutions from a brilliant set of minds.

Sources:- Porsche, HEV

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