09 December, 2009

Origin of Hybrid Vehicles

A hybrid combines two methods for the propulsion of a vehicle. Possible combinations include diesel/electric, gasoline/flywheel, and fuel cell/battery. Typically, one energy source is storage, and the other is conversion of a fuel to energy. As discussed in more detail in the combination of two power sources may support two separate propulsion systems. This is true for the parallel design hybrid. Historians recognize that certain events are milestones. These events can change the course of history. Milestone events divide history into periods. Names are assigned to the periods of history. An example of a milestone event is 9/11, a watershed event in the history of global terrorism. Yet note that 50–60 major terrorist attacks had occurred before 9/11. What are the significant events and periods with regard to hybrid automobiles? Three periods can be defined: ancient, modern, and current. Two events are significant. The first event, which occurred a century ago, was the production of the world’s first hybrid automobile. The OPEC-induced gas shortages of 1973 and again in 1979 constitute the second event. The period between the first and second milestones is considered “ancient.” Ancient history is ancient only relative to hybrids and cars. The period following the gas shortages is considered “modern.” The modern period, of course, ends with the present and ushers in the current period.


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