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Hybrid electric

Hybrid-electric vehicles are electrically-driven vehicles (see electric vehicle) which rely not only on batteries but also on an internal combustion engine driving a generator to provide the electricity.

There are several great advantages to this configuration:

Of course, there are also some disadvantages: The first successful hybrid-electric car was engineered by Ferdinand Porsche in 1928. Since then, hobbyists have built such cars but no such car was put into production until the twenty-first century, when Honda Insight and Toyota Prius were the commercially available hybrid models. These vehicles have a direct linkage from the internal combustion engine to the drive, so that the engine can provide acceleration power. (See Gas-electric hybrid engine, hybrid car, diesel-electric locomotive) Prototypes of plug-in hybrid cars, with larger battery packs that can be re-charged from the power grid, have been built in the U.S., and one production PHEV, the Renault Kangoo, went on sale in France in 2003.

Toyota has announced that it intends that all its vehicles will have a hybrid electric version by 2012.