The Woods Motor Vehicle Company was dead and gone by the end of WWI, but they were oddly prescient with many of their ideas. For example, they had a gasoline/electric hybrid vehicle way back in 1914, the Dual Power Model 44. This wasn't the first hybrid ever, but it does show that they were seriously experimenting with the technology.
Now, at the time gasoline was still too cheap and people had yet to develop the ability to be really self-satisfied based on their fuel choices, so the car never took off, and the company didn't survive. But, during Woods' brief, innovative life, they did come up with one especially interesting prototype: the Woods Interurban.
The Interurban was an electric car, but only sometimes. Sometimes it was a gasoline car. It achieved this act of automotive schizophrenia not by being any sort of dual-motored hybrid monster, but rather by letting the driver choose to transplant one engine type for the other based on the trip: if it was local, stick with the electric. Going on a long trip? Pop in the gas motor.
See? The first car with intentionally swappable engines. It was a failure, and like almost all good failures (gum-filled Combos, rocket boots), I think it's worth another go.
In the case of the Interurban prototype, the electric motor could be swapped for an 8 HP two-cylinder gasoline engine, and the process was said to take about 15 minutes, which, for the era, was impressive. There's only one picture that seems to be the Woods Interurban, and looking at it shows a car with what appears to be a large, removable hood, and a design and layout very similar to Renaults of the era. Like the French cars, the Interurban looks to have its radiator mounted behind the engine, which may have made engine removal/replacement easier.
There's not much information available, but I suspect the reason the car was never developed further was because of the logistical difficulties in keeping around an extra motor to swap, and the mechanics of the swap itself.
Back in 1914, these problems must have seemed pretty insurmountable. But, nearly 100 years later, this is a very different story. Technology's changed a lot. Back then, if you wanted to play Angry Birds you had to hike on down to an aviary with your own rocks and pigs and slingshot. Today, the same activities can be had with something in your pocket. With the automotive industry, the changes are equally dramatic.
1914 and 2013 share one key thing when it comes to electric cars: nobody's really happy with batteries. Yes, battery technology has improved dramatically, but despite a century of work, we're still stuck with heavy, relatively inefficent batteries that make 100 mile+ ranged electric cars a rarity. The Nissan Leaf, currently the most popular pure-electric car, can go between 47-105 miles per charge, according to Nissan. In town, that's fine. But it just doesn't cut it for long trips.
Sure, some companies are pushing range-extending gas-powered trailers as an option, but those are clunky and heavy solutions, and driving a car with any kind of trailer is a pain in the ass, especially when it comes to backing up. There's got to be a better way.