Human beings have been continuously evolving ways and means to travel quickly and efficiently. The automobile industry has been a work in progress and continually developing for over a hundred years. The evolution that started from slow-moving oxcart has grown into a complex piece of machinery that performs safely and efficiently. If we trace the invention of present-day cars, we can attribute it with Benz Patent – Motorwagen by German inventor Carl Benz in 1886. These motorised wagons soon started to replace the animal-drawn carriages. The motorised carts also became more affordable after the Ford T model got introduced in 1908.
Before Carl Benz, the history of cars can get traced to early 1769 with the invention of the steam engine automobile for transporting people. After that in 1806, the first cars powered by internal combustion engine started, and in 1885 the petrol-fuelled internal combustion engine got introduced. As steam-powered and internal combustion engine vehicles continued to evolve, simultaneously research and development had begun over the use of advanced electric car batteries, biofuels, fuel cell and others. In 1828, a Hungarian Anyos Jedik introduced an early type of electric motor. However, the world saw the first real electric car in 1888. This vehicle was the invention of German inventor Andreas Flocken.
Electric cars continued to garner popularity between the late 19th century and early 20th century. However, things changed after the mass production of gasoline vehicles by Ford Motor company. The reduced prices of gasoline cars led to a decline in the use of electric propulsion. The early experiments started in 1806 when Swiss engineer Francois Issac de Rivaz built an engine by internal combustion of a hydrogen and oxygen mixture. Around 1870, inventor Siegfried Marcus in Vienna Austria invented liquid-fueled internal combustion engine.
By 1900 the mass production of vehicles started in France and the USA. The first motor car was produced in central Europe by a Czech company – Nesselsdorfer Wagenbau in 1897. Around the start of the 20th century, the production also started in western Europe. Notably, France represented 48.8% of the world automobile production in 1903. In the US, Duryea Motor Wagon Company was founded in 1893 by Charles and Frank Duryea brothers. It became the first American automobile manufacturing company.
Along with the dominance of the petrol combustion engine in 1910, the extensive use of brass started in the US from 1905-1914. This era is also popularly referred to as the Edwardian Brass era. The Vintage era followed it. During this period, the front-engine cars started to dominate the market. Much began to change in the car design over the years. In the pre-world war II era, integrated fenders and fully closed bodies dominated the market. Even sedan body style cars with the boot at the rear for storage started gaining popularity. Then, in the post-war era, in the US high-compression, V8 engines got introduced, and new bodies from Cadillac and General Motors Oldsmobile started to reign.
In the modern era, there have been technology and design element changes. Sedan, hatchback and sports utility vehicles now dominate the market. There is an increasing focus on comfort, luxury and fuel-efficient cars. Electric cars, crossover, compact SUV’s and luxury sedans are reshaping the demand. Much has changed, and this process of evolution is constant in the automobile industry.