Here's a surprising tidbit of auto history for you today: The hybrid car idea is well over 100 years old.
Ferdinand Porsche, creator of Volkswagen and father of Ferdinand Anton Ernst Porsche (aka Ferry Porsche), is credited with developing an electric car way back in 1898 (not the first electric car, by the way). This was followed soon after by the first hybrid car in 1901. If you weren't aware of this historic automotive fact already, you can get a fairly concise history of Porsche's innovative electric car design as well as a glimpse of his first hybrid car design in this article by Peter Valdes-Dapena.
However, Porsche is not the first U.S. Patent holder for a hybrid car design. According to Hybrid Cars, that honor goes to a patent called, "Mixed Drive for Autovehicles" submitted by Henri Pieper, a German-born inventor and gunmaker in Belgium, on November 23, 1905. Pieper's U.S. Patent was granted on March 2, 1909 -- making the hybrid car (officially) just over 100 years old.