Although the hype seems to have died down over the last few years, hybrid vehicles are very much a part of our driving landscape today. Because they seem innovative and cutting edge, not a lot of people realize that the concept of the hybrid vehicle was first developed years ago. In fact, long before other modern necessities had come onto the scene, the hybrid engine had been introduced. The first one was built by none other than Porsche, back in 1899.

The concept was viewed as radical by many then, unmarketable in a world where electricity was much harder to come by than gasoline. Still, hybrids hung around in one form or another ever since. Different car companies tried out different models over the 20th century. The first domestic manufacturer to do so was GM, back in 1969. Still, people did not see the need for the finicky, powerless hybrid at that time.

The next big attempts at personal automobiles along the hybrid lines were by Honda almost 20 years later. Again, the average person going to work where he would operate heavy equipment saw no need to purchase these pricey and radical vehicles when gasoline was in ready supply at low costs.

How times have changed! Today, an environmental awareness along with rising prices of gas has seen the demand for hybrid vehicles climb steadily. There are more hybrids and hybrid models available on the market place than ever before. It started in the 1990s, with the major Japanese manufacturers designing several types of hybrids. These included commercial vehicles, buses, and a few automobile offerings.

Although GM had experimented with hybrids much earlier, it took a very long time for the domestic manufacturers to begin producing hybrid models of their own. It wasn't until 2004 that Ford and Chevrolet brought their own designs onto the market, both small automobiles.

Since the beginning of the new millennium, the demand for hybrids has risen steadily, and that demand has been recognized by almost all car manufacturers. More and more domestic companies have begun to produce these vehicles for people trying to do their every day tasks, from taking the kids to school to getting to work.

European car companies have been reluctant to adapt their own vehicles to the hybrid models, but most are now beginning to market their own lines as well. Lexus was among the first, with BMW, and even Mercedes Benz also coming out with more eco friendly models. Volvo and Volkswagen are both slated to come out with hybrid vehicles in the next two years as well.

It is clear that like the price of your average home, the number of hybrids available on the market will only rise over the next few years. That is great news for people who love their cars and also have a green conscience.

How hybrids work.

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