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How Old Is Toyota Prius Technology Really?

If you think hybrid technology is relatively modern, think again. Hybrids have been around longer than before most of us were born.

The year was 1897, and Justus B. Entz sent in all the paperwork to file for a new patent on a very peculiar type of invention. It was a transmission for an automobile that would change everything about transportation 100 years later. Indeed this car named the Owen-Magnetic was the world's first hybrid vehicle.

What Is The Owen Magnetic?
The car was nothing short of an incredible feat of technology for the day. It utilized a 24 Volt battery system and an electric transmission to slow the vehicle down and charge the batteries (sound familiar?)

Justus B. Entz was the creator of the transmission used. Still, the R.M. Owen & Company licensed the technology from him to build the car. It was called the Owen Magnetic and was marketed as a "magnetic" drive automobile.

What Was Great About The Car?
There were many neat things about the Owen-Magnetic. It was very smooth to operate and needed no clutch. Shifting was a complete breeze. Because the engine turned the electric transmission, it hardly worked so overheating, or short life on the gasoline engine quickly became a thing of the past.

There were many other notable features about the car that was amazing for the time. However, by 1922 production for the $9,000 car was halted ($135,000 in today's money).

Story Conclusion
Hybrid technology is all over our streets today. Thankfully older generations and people like Entz pioneered it early on so that we can reap the benefits of it now.

Hybrids are fantastic cars, not very exciting but still pretty darn neat when you think about where the heritage came from. That is all for today. Remember, Today's Adventure is Tomorrow's Story.

Want to know what the next big leap in battery tech is? Take a look here.

Check out this wild new battery tech that Tesla has and why it will forever change the auto industry.

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Peter Neilson is an automotive consultant specializing in electric cars and hybrid battery technologies. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Service Technology from Weber State University. Peter can be reached on Linkedin and you can tweet him at The_hybrid_guy on Twitter. Find his page on Facebook at Certified Auto Consulting. Read more of Peter's stories at Toyota news coverage on Torque News. Search Toyota Prius Torque News for more in depth Prius coverage from our reporter.


RonaldImini (not verified)    September 22, 2021 - 6:24AM

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