A car, a box powered by an engine at its base, is just a medium for transport, or at least that is the ideology behind it. Today a car has become much more than a mere medium of travel. It is a symbol of status and pride. It is a modern wonder that is fitted with a variety features to such as air conditioner, music system etcetera in order to make our journeys comfortable and soothing.
But in the fast-paced and timeless world, have we ever stopped to ponder
upon the evolution of the Car? It hides mechanical and architectural wonders amidst its metal frame. And today, we are looking back at a brief history of this modern wonder.
When we think about the history of cars, we think Henry Ford, the inventor of ‘cars’. But, unfortunately, he only pioneered the mass production of motor vehicles. Yet, however, even the mass production of the car couldn’t bring down its price to something a common man could afford, but a German company is to be credited for that. We shall talk in detail about both Henry Ford and this German company I mentioned, further along, but first, we’ll start at the very beginning.
Inventor of Car- Ferdinand Verbiest
The first ever thing that resembled a ‘car’ was made in 1672 by Ferdinand Verbiest a Flemish member of a Jesuit mission in China. It was a mere 65 cm long model made for the then Chinese Emperor “Kangxi“. It ran on steam and was more of a toy than a vehicle, evident by the fact that it couldn’t carry any passengers or even a driver.
First Car by Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot
Around the year 1769 Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot, a French inventor, made a life-sized steam-powered tricycle that resembled the car. But, unfortunately, his idea to power the vehicleby steam handicapped the vehicle as could not maintain steam pressure, unlike steam engines in trains. In the next century, the idea of a compact vehicle was further
developed but it had limited use as it was based on the steam engine and presented moreor the less the same problems its predecessors did; unable to maintain the steam pressure.
World’s First Internal Combustion by Nicéphore & Claude Niépce
The invention of probably the world’s
first internal combustion engine in 1807 by Nicéphore Niépce and his brother Claude could have resolved the problem presented by steam engines,but, unfortunately, they choose to install in it a boat than a carriage.Coincidently, and fortunately,A Swiss inventor “François Isaac de Rivaz” made his own internal combustion engine called ‘de Rivaz internal combustion engine’ and used it to develop world’s first vehicle to be powered by such engine. It used a mixture of coal and some other materials
but it was a rather more practical concept than the steam-powered engine.Although the internal combustion engine was far more practical than the steam-powered engine, it was of little use.
Rivaz’s model was, all in all, a modified version of a cart and thus presented limited usability. None of the cars developed in this period was consumer friendly, and thus none of them was ever sold.
First Electric Car Concept-Gustave Trouvé
In November 1881, a concept was displayed by French inventor Gustave Trouvé.
This concept was not ever paid any heed until very recently. He showcased a working model of a car which ran completely on electricity.
Although for the next couple of hundred years his invention was pretty useless, it does seem like the future of cars in the present day.
Father of Automobiles-Karl Benz
The modern concept of the car was founded by “Karl Benz” when he was granted a patent for his first engine in 1889. He pioneered the concept of a feasible internal combustion engine and fitted in his Motorwagen. He found Benz & Cie and sold 25 Benz vehicles were sold between the period of 1888 and 1893. This short span of time marked a milestone in the history of cars and motor vehicles at large at few of very first cars were sold during this period.
Oldsmobile- Large Scale Production of Cars
Theyear 1901 marked another important milestone in the history of cars and motor vehicles as Ransom Old begun the large-scale production of cars under his brand Oldsmobile. The production line manufacturing of cars immensely reduced the cost as well as the production time of a car.
“FORDISM “- Ford Era-Henry Ford
Henry Ford further expanded and pioneered the potential of production lines and their ability to make cars by introducing world’s first moving assembly line in the year 1913. As a result, the productivity of increased eight fold, while using less manpower. The production line was so fast that a Ford car was made every 15 minutes.The production line, being so fast, needed a paint that dried very quickly, forcing the company to only Japan Black. The company thus had to drop all other colour variants and produce the car in only Black colour. This also happens to be the source of Ford’s apocryphal remark, “any colour as long as it’s black”. The production line also immensely reduced the cost of the car. A Ford worker could easily buy a car with mere 4 month’s pay. But its also worth noting that Ford’s workers were paid warmly. But a hearty pay came under its own conditions. Each worker was strictly appointed a specific location that improved efficiency and restricted the workers to freely roam around, avoiding injuries. Ford’s model of production, commonly came to be known as ‘Fordism’, was soon adopted by all the motor vehicle manufacturers across America. By 1930, 250 companies which did not adopt Ford’s model of the production line, had disappeared from the face of the automobile industry.Many cars began appearing upon American roads as more and more people brought Ford’s car. As cheap as it might have been, it was still out of a common man’s pay scale. A common man could merely dream of owning a car until the World Wars came into the scene.
World War Ι-Automobile Industry
After the First World War, Germany was defeated and forced to sign a harsh treaty. As a result of the treaty, Germany was economically drained. The economic condition further worsened during the great economic depression.
So, during his regime as the leader of the Nazi Party, Hitler determined to raise the economy of the country. Among his many steps to do so, Volkswagen (literally meaning people’s car) was founded. In fact, Volkswagen’s very first logo was incorporated inside a Swastika, symbolizing its support to the Nazi Party.
The Volkswagen People’s Car project aimed to produce a cheap, yet efficient car, as opposed to the popular trend of expensive luxury cars that could be brought by only a very small population. The car could be easily afforded by the common masses of Germany.
In the year 1934, with many of such projects still in development or early stages of production, Adolf Hitler became involved in People’s Car project. He ordered the production of the car which could transport two adults and three children comfortably at the speed of 100 KM/H. He wanted all German Citizens to have a car. The car developed under People’s Car Project was priced very modestly at an affordable rate of 990 Reichsmark ($396 in 1930s U.S. dollars). It was equivalent to the price of a small motorcycle.
Many other privately owned companies tried to copy the concept and deliver a car at a similar price but failed miserably as it was just impossible to deliver such a car at mere 990 Reichsmarks.
Eventually, 336,000 people purchased a car under People’s Car Project. Yet, however, the whole scheme was, in fact, financially unsound. It was only possible to deliver such a car at a low price only by the grace and fundings of the Nazi Party.
World War ΙΙ-Automobile Industry
The World War Two affected the production of Volkswagen cars adversely. The production of consumer vehicles shifted to production of military vehicles. It was later found that the company used slave labour, supplied from concentration camps, to work late hours in the production units.
After the war, the Americans captured and seized the production units and handed them to their allies, the British. The company flourished well under the British.
Post World War II- Automobile Industry
After the Second World War, the automobile industry boomed. Japanese manufacturers began collaborating with the European automobile makers. The streets around the world were suddenly filled with a number of cheap and compact vehicles in addition to the already existent luxury vehicles.
Through the years of history, the number of cars grew so much that now we’re facing a whole different kind of problems in regards to the automobile industry.
First and for most of the new generation of the problems is the environmental impact of cars. While there are many types of fuels used in a variety of cars depending on various factors, the most common ones are diesel and petrol (gasoline).
According to The United States, Environmental Protection Agency, an average vehicle emits 8,887 grams of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) per litre of petrol. While an average vehicle operating on diesel will emit 10,180 grams of carbon dioxide. This greenhouse gas carbon dioxide has many ill effects on both our environment and our health.
Initiatives by Goverments
Governments across the globe are trying to reduce carbon dioxide by demoting the sale of cars altogether by raising road taxes. But that strategy is proving to be of little use as the spending power of people increases.
So now, instead of demoting sales of cars altogether, the governments are promoting alternative fuels that emit less, or in some cases none at all, carbon dioxide.
CNG-Compressed Natural Gas
CNG is one such alternate fuel. It can be easily installed even in a petrol or a diesel car, without hindering much with the internal setting and tuning of the car.
CNG installation was a tedious task, but with Motorrep, it’s a menial task. Our experts install the most suitable CNG setups in your car with perfect implementation right at your doorstep so you don’t need to waste your time. Pickup and drop services are also available free of cost if your car needs further attention by our experts. We guarantee a perfect installation without any trace of any leaks or other defects.
Another such alternative is a hybrid vehicle. A hybrid vehicle uses electricity in harmony with the conventional fuel such as petrol or diesel. The carbon dioxide emissions of a hybrid vehicle are significantly lesser than a conventional one.
Do you remember the French inventor Gustave Trouvé I mentioned earlier? He showcased a fully working model of a car powered completely by electricity back in 1881. Although his model wasn’t paid much heed then, an urgent need to replace all conventionally fueled vehicles by electric vehicles has been recognised.
There is an urgent and undeniable need for the citizens of India to make a shift from traditional fossil fuel has driven vehicles to electric ones. If we look at our own surroundings and cities at large, we’ll find that we are engulfed in poisonous and toxic gases emitted from these very fossil fuel driven vehicles.
The government seems to have recognised this need and thus, is drafting several policies to promote electric vehicles and benefit those who drive them. They have urged the entrusted car manufacturers such as Honda, Maruti Suzuki and Toyota to develop electric vehicles that both suit the demands of customers and roads alike, and aren’t quite hefty on the pocket either.
The electric vehicle mission of the Modi government aims for all-electric cars in India by the year 2030.
Moreover, an electric supercar was also recently unveiled by the pioneers of electric vehicles Tesla. The new Tesla Roadster, a completely electric car, can go 0-100 km/h in just 1.9 seconds.
All in all, we’ve come a long way with cars. They’ve evolved so much in terms of design, engine and all other aspects. Yet, their evolution is still going and is now faster than ever.
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