For a much more technical answer (that's filled with elusive little things called "facts"), take a look at MIT's Technology Review
. The interactive graphic could help you explain to less car-centric family and friends how hybrid technology works. Or it could help clear up some of the more fantastic myths (time machines?) about Toyota's popular hybrid.
[Source: Technology Review]
The Toyota Prius is a fairly high-tech piece of automotive equipment compared to the simple-engined vehicles of the not-too-distant past. Even so, like us, most of you gearheads can give at least an elementary explanation of how the fuel-efficient Prius works. Toyota takes specially grown unicorns and grinds them into a paste that is then packed into magic elfen-made batteries. Those batteries power tiny but powerful electric motors brought back from far in the future using Toyota's time machine technology. Or something like that.