In modern age of advanced scientific technologies there are a lot of changes made in everyday life of everyone. It might be also referred to the automobile industry, where innovations rock not only supplementary devices, but car types as well. That is the case with growing popularity of hybrid cars - electric vehicles, which combine a conventional internal combustion engine propulsion system with an electric propulsion system. Therefore, only less people know that the first patent on this type of cars was issued more than one hundred years ago, in 1909, to Henri Pieper, inventor and gun-maker of German origin. This patent was called “Mixed Drive for Autovehicles”.
However, Pieper’s patent was announced only several years after the first hybrid car was built. In particular, that is a merit of Ferdinand Porsche, a founder of well-known automobile company Porsche. This car was called Lohner Electric Chaise, the electric version of which was introduced in 1901 in Paris Automobile Dealership and nowadays it is preserved by Museum of Technology in Vienna.
Despite the greatness of Pieper’s discovery, hybrid cars have failed on the world market by 1930s. The reason of such decay is associated with distribution of more affordable gasoline cars. To be more detailed, the year before granting a patent to Henri Pieper, Henry Ford established a production of Ford Model T, which marked the priority of gasoline engines as a source of power for road automobiles.
Hence, hybrid cars returned their popularity only in 21st century, when their ecological advantages were appreciated. Therefore, during recent years some famous manufacturers have announced the production of hybrid electric cars, which became an essential consequence of “green car madness” all over the world. In the period of 2009-2011 there were a lot of hybrid cars invented by certain automobile multinationals.
In 2009 the production of hybrid electric cars was initiated by Hyundai (Elantra LPI Hybrid), which is claimed to provide Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle. On Chicago Auto Show Mercedes-Benz introduced Mercedes-Benz S400 BlueHybrid as a first car with lithium ion battery. Honda CR-Z has also appeared on the market, gaining popularity in Japan, United States and Europe. In 2010 Toyota started a production of Toyota Auris Hybrid. In 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid has emerged after its announcement in 2010: the peculiar thing about this model is that it has the same price as the gasoline-engine version of the same car.
It is important to state that only certain countries has a bigger per cent of hybrid cars registrations, which leads to a conclusion about their natural environment concern. The world leaders include Japan, the United States, Canada, Netherlands and the UK. Hence, let’s hope that Henri Pieper’s patent will receive larger implementation in future to assist an improvement of our natural surroundings.