Presented is a hybrid vehicle selectively driven by either an electric motor or an internal combustion engine acting independently of the other, or by both electric motor and internal combustion engine acting in unison. The vehicle is initially propelled by the electric motor working through a four speed transmission to drive a first set of wheels, and speed control is achieved by shifting of the transmission, either manually or automatically, while in electric drive alone. When the vehicle achieves a predetermined cruising speed while being propelled by the electric motor, a speed sensor activates the application of a less than maximum voltage to a magnetically actuated variable torque converter interposed between the second set of wheels, which are rotating on the roadway, and the internal combustion engine. The momentum of the vehicle, acting through the second set of wheels, actuates the variable torque converter to "crank" the internal combustion engine to start it. As soon as the internal combustion engine starts and is running at constant speed, the electric motor is deenergized as a driving Unit. The electric motor may be re-established as a driving unit to assist the internal combustion engine in propelling the vehicle.