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Hybrid Vehicles

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Essay title: Hybrid Vehicles

Hybrid Cars

The idea of the hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) has been around for longer than a decade, as many people may not have originally thought. In fact, hybrid vehicles have been in development for the past century. The combination of an electric motor and a gasoline engine has been stirring in the minds of scientists and inventors alike for many years. Hybrid cars have surpassed many feats as it’s progressed through the years, such as increased gas mileage and reducing the pollutants that regular internal combustion engines expel. While the hybrid car is in high demand at the present time, some people believe these cars are just a quick resolution before bigger and better ideas, such as fuel cell vehicles, begin taking over the automobile industry. Still, the development of the hybrid car has had many effects on today’s society and may continue to in the future.

A key element in how the hybrid operates is the electric motor. First produced solely for the use of electric vehicles, later went on to be one of the main components of a hybrid vehicle. The electric vehicle started out by the invention of the storage battery in 1859. This later led to what is believed to be the first electric vehicle produced, a three wheel carriage made by Magnus Volk of England in 1888. The first of the electric vehicles were mainly used by royal patrons. Another major advancement from England was an electric car with a 40 cell battery and 3 horse power electric motor designed by Walter Bersey. This car was designed for the London Electric Cab Company in 1897. In the same year the Pope Manufacturing Company built about 500 electric cars within a two year period, which marked one of the first mass productions of electric cars in automobile history (History). America eventually adopted the electric cab idea and introduced electric taxicabs in the late 1890s (Motavalli 10). The Pope Manufacturing Company eventually merged with 2 smaller electric car companies to start a company called the Electric Vehicle Company (EVC) in 1899. They became the first large scale operation in the American automobile industry with total assets reaching 200 million dollars. “In the year 1900, American car companies made 1,681 steam, 1,575 electric, and 936 gasoline cars. In a poll conducted at the first National Automobile Show in New York City, patrons favored electric as their first choice, followed closely by steam” (History). The next 5 years were a great success for the EVC with cab and car rental companies from New York to Chicago. However, in 1904 Henry Ford introduced a low-priced, light weight, gas powered vehicle with less noise, vibrations, and odor of previous gas powered vehicles which caused the EVC to eventually fail (History).

The second component of a hybrid car is the internal combustion engine, also known as the gasoline engine. Gasoline cars have been around for years longer than electric cars. They range back as far as the early 1800s but did not become very practical until the 1880s when Gottlieb Daimler inventor the worlds first four wheel motor vehicle. The next year Karl Benz received the first patent for a gas-fueled car (Motavalli 22). When the 20th century finally came around gas powered vehicles were increasing at a very fast rate by the likes of people such as Henry Ford, Charles and Frank Dureya, and Ransome Eli Olds (24). By 1911 the invention of the Self Starter almost completely wiped out the sale of steam and electric vehicles. The Self Starter made it extremely easy for all drivers to start a gas engine instead of having to crank start the engine (History). So began the dominance of gasoline vehicles in the automobile industry. The only problem was gasoline cars were very inefficient and released many pollutants into the air. “A power source, like the gasoline engine, that dissipates 80 percent of its energy before it ever reaches the rear axle is too wasteful in the modern era and must be replaced by something more efficient and less polluting” (Motavalli XI).

So in turn, the invention of hybrid cars was introduced. Hybrid cars date back a century ago to 1905. An American engineer by the name of H. Piper filed for a patent for a hybrid vehicle which used an electric motor to assist an internal combustion engine and could peak at 25 mph in 10 seconds instead of the usual 30 seconds. By the time his patent was issued, 3 years later gasoline engines could produce this kind of performance on their own at a much cheaper price. A few other companies had their try at hybrid cars as well, such as Commercial which constructed a hybrid truck that was built in Philadelphia until 1918. Still, with the advancement of gasoline engines, a few hybrid vehicles were produced and can be found in museums throughout America today. A dormant period arose from 1920 to 1965. Hybrids and electrics were then mainly the experimentations

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