Which people helped invent the hybrid auto of the 1990’s and 2000’s?

People who contributed to the hybrid automobile of the 1990’s and 2000’s

Most hybrids of the 2000’s use the Atkinson cycle combustion engine, an engine more efficient than the Otto Cycle.

Famous autos like the Toyota Prius, Chevy Volt, and the first hybrid minivan, the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica plug-in hybrid use the Atkinson cycle engine.

James Atkinson

James Atkinson (1846–1914) was a British engineer who invented engines that were more efficient than the Otto cycle.

Animation of the Atkinson differential engine, 1882
Animation of the Atkinson “Cycle Engine”, 1887

Alex Severinsky

Alex Severinsky was born and raised in the Soviet Union.

He emigrated, as a refugee, to the United States in 1978 and is now an American citizen.

Although he was working on developing the most efficient hybrid in the U.S. in 1991, U.S. automakers were reluctant to adopt his ideas.

Ford worked with Severinsky’s company Paice, but was reluctant to pay for the technology.

Severinsky sued Toyota for using his idea, but Toyota said they developed the idea on their own. They settled after six years of litigation.

Takehisa Yaegashi (1943 – )

“The original Toyota team was led by Takeshi Uchiyamada, who later became Toyota’s executive vice-president for R&D, and it was under his direction that a concept hybrid vehicle was shown at the 1995 Tokyo Motor Show. The interest it received convinced Toyota’s management that the idea could be developed commercially, and the project team was ordered to make the car ready for series production within two years.”

“When Toyota introduced the Prius in 1997, many in the industry lampooned the concept as complex and expensive. But today nearly every OEM is developing hybrid technology.” –ae

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