The term motorcar has also been used in the context of electrified rail systems to denote a car which functions as a small locomotive but also provides space for passengers and baggage. These locomotive cars were often used on suburban routes by both interurban and intercity railroad systems.
There are approximately 600 million passenger cars worldwide (roughly one car per eleven people).Around the world, there were about 806 million cars and light trucks on the road in 2007; they burn over a billion cubic meters (260 billion US gallons) of petrol/gasoline and diesel fuel yearly. The numbers are increasing rapidly, especially in China and India.
he first working steam-powered vehicle was probably designed by Ferdinand Verbiest, a Flemish member of a Jesuit mission in China around 1672. It was a 65 cm-long scale-model toy for the Chinese Emperor, that was unable to carry a driver or a passenger.It is not known if Verbiest’s model was ever built.
In 1752, Leonty Shamshurenkov, a Russian peasant, constructed a human-pedalled four-wheeled “auto-running” carriage, and subsequently proposed to equip it with odometer and to use the same principle for making a self-propelling sledge.
Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot is widely credited with building the first self-propelled mechanical vehicle or automobile in about 1769; he created a steam-powered tricycle.He also constructed two steam tractors for the French Army, one of which is preserved in the French National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts.[His inventions were however handicapped by problems with water supply and maintaining steam pressure. In 1801, Richard Trevithick built and demonstrated his Puffing Devil road locomotive, believed by many to be the first demonstration of a steam-powered road vehicle. It was unable to maintain sufficient steam pressure for long periods, and was of little practical use.
In the 1780s, a Russian inventor, Ivan Kulibin, developed a human-pedalled, three-wheeled carriage with an elementary differential transmission of power from the pedals to the axle.
In 1807 Nicéphore Niépce and his brother Claude probably created the world’s first internal combustion engine which they called a Pyréolophore, but they chose to install it in a boat on the river Saonein France. Coincidentally, in 1807 the Swiss inventor François Isaac de Rivaz designed his own ‘de Rivaz internal combustion engine’ and used it to develop the world’s first vehicle, to be powered by such an engine. The Niépces’ Pyréolophore was fuelled by a mixture of Lycopodium powder (dried Lycopodium moss), finely crushed coal dust and resin that were mixed with oil, whereas de Rivaz used a mixture of hydrogen and oxygen. Neither design was very successful, as was the case with others, such as Samuel Brown, Samuel Morey, and Etienne Lenoir with his hippomobile, who each produced vehicles (usually adapted carriages or carts) powered by clumsy internal combustion engines.
Costs and benefits
The costs of automobile usage, which may include the cost of: acquiring the vehicle, repairs, maintenance, fuel, depreciation, injury, driving time, parking fees, tire replacement, taxes, and insurance, are weighed against the cost of the alternatives, and the value of the benefits – perceived and real – of vehicle usage. The benefits may include on-demand transportation, mobility, independence
Similarly the costs to society of encompassing automobile use, which may include those of: maintaining roads, land use, pollution, public health, health care, and of disposing of the vehicle at the end of its life, can be balanced against the value of the benefits to society that automobile use generates. The societal benefits may include: economy benefits, such as job and wealth creation, of automobile production and maintenance, transportation provision, society wellbeing derived from leisure and travel opportunities, and revenue generation from the tax opportunities. The ability for humans to move flexibly from place to place has far reaching implications for the nature of societies.
The automotive market is formed by the demand and the industry. This article is about the general, major trends in the automotive market, mainly from the demand side.
The European automotive market has always boasted a higher number of smaller cars than the United States. With the high fuel prices and the world petroleum crisis, the United States may see its automotive market become more like the European market with fewer large vehicles on the road and more small cars.
For luxurious cars, with the current volatility in oil prices, going for smaller cars is not only smart, but also trendy. And because fashion is of high importance with the upper classes, the little green cars with luxury trimmings become quite plausible.