There are a host of manufacturers and new technologies all competing for ground as the next raft of hybrids begin to hit the market. Whether this furious level of diversity and innovation can be maintained or whether manufacturers will in time consolidate their efforts remains to be seen.
This is an exciting time to be an automotive engineer. And none are currently more excited than the designers of the Vauxhall Ampera, whose Voltec motors aim to set a new standard in the Electric vehicle (EV) or hybrid market.
The new Vauxhall Ampera is a mouthful, an 'Extended Range Electric Vehicle' (E-REV) whose front wheels are always driven by its electric motor.
Standard hybrids switch to run on their petrol engine when certain circumstances arise (high-speed or long distance demands, for example). The Ampera meanwhile always runs off its electric motor, this motor being powered by a small petrol unit should your car exceed its 40mile battery range.
You charge the battery at home as with other EVs, but you also top it up with petrol? If that's a little tricky to get your head around, that's because it is. An electric battery charged by a petrol motor surely defeats the object.
Vauxhall however claim that, in conjunction with the 1.4 litre petrol engine, the Ampera can achieve a range of 310 miles, CO2 emission levels of 40g/km (even when the petrol engine is operating), and a claimed economy of 175mpg! Whichever way you look at it these figures are impressive and set the standard in a sector haunted by range anxiety and false economy figures.
And, having done their research, Vauxhall know that the majority of users won't often use their extended range capabilities. Most drivers in Europe average only 31 miles per day.
The Ampera goes on sale in 2012 for around £30-35,000.
Other manufacturers though are standing by and developing their existing hybrid technologies.<.p>
Current hybrids of course combine a petrol engine with an electric motor, believed by car makers to be the best real world solution. Battery technology is without precedent and still extremely costly.
Hybrid cars will therefore continue to roll out across the sectors, with Lexus's new 2011 CT200h destined to be the first hybrid in the luxury hatchback sector. Hyundai is also using its 'Blue Drive' hybrid technology across its range of cars.
Toyota meanwhile, at the vanguard of the EV movement from the beginning, has already beaten moved the goalposts with the introduction of the new Auris Hybrid.
It's a significant car in that it is marginally cheaper than its big brother, the Prius, £18,950 in its basic form compared to nearly £20k for the Prius. Perhaps more importantly for the mainstream market the car doesn't try to look unique and 'futuristic' and hammer home its green credentials.
To the untrained eye the Auris looks just like the other hatchback. Those who feel uncomfortable - pious in a Prius - now have a real alternative.
And with an average fuel consumption of 74mpg and CO2 emissions of 89g/km the Auris is frugal in every respect. It can run for 15 miles on electricity alone, offering a comfortable ride both around town and on motorways.
It's also worth bearing in mind that while other manufacturers are still gearing themselves up to release their visions of the future, the Auris Hybrid is available to buy now.