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A three-stage 18-level hybrid inverter circuit and its innovative control method have been presented. The three hybrid inverter stages are the high-, medium-, and low-voltage stages. The high-voltage stage is made of a three-phase conventional inverter to reduce dc source cost and losses. The medium- and low-voltage stages are made of three-level inverters constructed using cascaded H-bridge units. The novelty of the proposed algorithm is to avoid the undesirable high switching frequency for high- and medium-voltage stages despite the fact that the inverter's dc sources are selected to maximize the inverter levels by eliminating redundant voltage states. Switching algorithms of the high- and medium-voltage stages have been developed to assure fundamental switching frequency operation of the high-voltage stages and not more than few times this frequency for the medium-voltage stage. The low-voltage stage is controlled using SVM to achieve the reference voltage vector exactly and to set the order of dominant harmonics as desired. The realization of this control approach has been enabled by considering the vector space plane in the state selection rather than individual phase levels. The inverter has been constructed, and the control algorithm has been implemented. Test results show that the proposed algorithm achieves the claimed features, and all major hypotheses have been verified.