It's now been just over a decade since the first hybrids, the original Honda Insight and Toyota Prius, were introduced. After a slow start, rising fuel costs caused consumer interest to take off mid-decade. Today, most consumers have some idea of what a hybrid is, but many are unaware that hybrid systems from competing manufacturers have entirely different hardware and function in dramatically dissimilar ways. That's why, for instance, you can't drive a Honda Civic hybrid on electric power alone
Power Split Parallel Hybrid
Over the past decade, if there is one word that has become synonymous with green motoring it is hybrid. Ever since Toyota launched the first modern commercially viable hybrid with the original Prius (above) in 1997, over one million of them have hit the roads. Of course, as is so often the case, this overnight sensation was anything but. In fact, the technology was nearly a century in the making.