Hybrids Have Been Around a Lot Longer Than You Think

Andrew Koole
· 3 min read
Many people think of the Toyota Prius as the first mass-produced
hybrid car
, or at least the first one they remember. Technically, the Honda Insight hit American roads before the Prius. But it was Toyota’s model that popularized the electric-gas powertrain combo in the U.S.
Hybrids are now thought of as a stepping stone toward fully electric vehicles. But the reality is that EVs existed long before gas-powered cars, and hybrid technology was first developed over 100 years ago.
Ferdinand Porsche, the same man responsible for the German sports car company and the Volkswagen Beetle, built the first hybrid car in 1899. From there, the powertrain experienced many slumps and detours before arriving at its present success.
Do you know when the first hybrid car was developed?

A brief history of the hybrid

Ferdinand Porsche’s car, the System Lohner-Porsche Mixte, was relatively successful in the years after its launch. But when Henry
lowered the cost of a gas-powered vehicle with his assembly line,
says the pricier Mixte and its technology slowly fell out of favor.
After disappearing from the market by the ‘20s, hybrid vehicles didn’t reenter the industry’s collective imagination for nearly 50 years. 
The federal government tried to encourage a resurgence in the ‘60s to curb air pollution, but automakers did see the point until the oil crisis of 1973.
CarsDirect says manufacturers experimented for 25 years until Honda and Toyota finally produced the compact hybrids mentioned in the intro of this article. 
MORE: The 5 Most Affordable Plug-In Hybrids
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Today’s hybrids

Honda and Toyota continue to make some of the most popular hybrid vehicles. The third-generation Insight debuted in 2018, the Prius started its fourth that same year, and both automakers offer gas-electric combos in a wide range of other models.
They’re not alone in the market, either.
Car and Driver
says Hyundai offers the gas-sipping powertrain in many of its vehicles, Chrysler designed one for its Pacifica minivan, and Volvo continues to include it as an option for its XC crossover wagons. 
In fact, most major automakers have hybrids in their lineups, whether in the automated form introduced in the Honda Insight or as the more modern plug-in hybrid option. At the same time, most of them plan to faze hybrids out as they make the transition off fossil fuels.

Car insurance for hybrids

MORE: 3 Hidden Reasons Hybrid Cars Are More Expensive to Insure
Hybrids are ever-so-slightly more expensive than their fully gas-powered counterparts, and the same is true for their
car insurance
rates. On average, Car and Driver says rates for hybrids are, on average, about 7% more than regular internal combustion vehicles.
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