Why are hybrid electric cars important?

Hybrid cars use an internal combustion engine and can be fuelled like normal cars-but have an electric motor and battery, and can be powered by electricity.

It was the oil crisis of 1973 that gave impetus to idea of saving petrol by using electricity to power cars. Over the next 25 years, auto manufacturers spent billions of dollars on research of hybrid technologies.

In spite of this, very few vehicles were produced that could both reduce the world’s dependence on oil and compete with gasoline vehicles on price and performance.

It wasn’t until Toyota released the Prius in Japan in 1997 that a viable alternative emerged.

In 1999, the Honda Insight became the first mass-produced hybrid car in the United States.

By using both a conventional engine and electric motor, the best hybrids achieve significantly better fuel efficiency than their non-hybrid counterparts. They also pollute less and save drivers money through fuel savings.

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