If you think that Honda is the first company to make a hybrid car with the 1999 2-door Insight, then think again... History of hybrid cars goes back in 1900, when Porsche made world's first hybrid car, the Lohner-Porsche Semper Vivus. The car was equipped with a gas engine coupled to an electric generator. The electric power was delivered to a pair of electric hub motors, built inside the front wheels. A battery could run the car if it run out of fuel.
The idea for this hybrid model was not the economy nor the "green spirit", instead it was built to solve more practical problems: The lack of gas stations. Back in 1900, there was not a gas station on every street, so a hybrid car could save the day.
The image above is a replica of the original Lohner-Porsche version, as none of them can be found around today. It looks like that Porsche has some appeal for hybrid models. Let's not forget that Porsche has not only the world's first hybrid car, but also has the sexiest, the 918 Spyder (bottom image). You can get one of these for 425,000 Euros and run with the amazing speed of 198 miles per hour!