When extended a proposal to drive the new hybrid car in town, I picked my bicycle to reach the nearest metro station, took the metro train, dropped down near the dealership, and walked till I reached there—essentially, taking a relatively eco-friendly route to reach the car. This, I call the Prius effect! To auto enthusiasts, Toyota Prius doesn’t quite require much introduction—it is a pioneer in hybrid technology and the first mass production hybrid vehicle. More than delivering better fuel efficiency and lower carbon emissions, the car has introduced futuristic design and able driving performance for a hybrid, and has received great acclaim across the world. To the environmentally-conscious, Prius is a Latin word meaning “to go before”—according to Toyota, the name was chosen because the Prius was launched before environmental awareness became a mainstream social issue (essentially, when Kyoto Protocol was adopted in 1997).
But what exactly is a hybrid? A hybrid vehicle uses both the internal combustion engine and an electric motor to propel a car. The electric motor is there to achieve both better fuel economy and better performance. Modern hybrids use technologies such as regenerative braking (rather than wasting it as heat energy) that convert the vehicle’s kinetic energy into electric energy, which, in turn, charges the batteries.
Not many may know this but a hybrid is not a new phenomenon. In fact, it was more than a century ago that the first hybrid was developed—the Lohner-Porsche Mixte Hybrid made by Ferdinand Porsche was the first gasoline-electric hybrid