The 1914 Galt Prius
For everyone who thinks hybrids are new, we offer the Galt Gas Electric, built in Galt, Ontario (now merged into Cambridge ON, home of one of Toyota's biggest plants). This was, according to the Globe, "a masterpiece of engineering." It had a twin-cylinder, 10-hp, two-stroke engine that ran on gasoline and kerosene at a steady 800 rpm. This drove a Westinghouse generator that produced 40 volts and 90 amps. The electricity generated was stored in four batteries located in running-board boxes. It had no transmission, but a single control lever provided five forward speeds — up to a maximum of 50 km/h — and three in reverse. The lightweight Galt was reputed to be capable of achieving fuel economy of about 4.0 litres/100 km (60 MPG- hey, thats good for a two grand rebate!) and to be able to travel about 30 km on battery power alone.
Toyota should tool around the block and pick up the rights- the Fleming Gray company is still operating there, although they are now making hockey skate sharpening equipment instead of cars. More in ::Globe and Mail