The history of the automobile begun in the 1800s, when engineers had to struggle with the choice of using steam, combustion or electric engines. At first, they thought an electric car would be sustainable, but then it didn’t have enough battery power to enable it move faster and over a long distance. And even though speed records of the very first electric vehicles exist, it’s worth noting that the production of these automobiles ceased in the first decade of the twentieth century.
Through the ages
Compared to gas-powered engines, the steam engine was costly to build and maintain. There was also the risk of a boiler explosion, and this kept the engines from becoming so popular. Combustion engines became popular instead, and American Automobile engineers like Henry Ford and Ransom E. Olds came up with their very first combustion engines, refusing to adapt the idea of steam or electric engines.
Commercial production of vehicles begun in France in the year 1890. US and Europe both started producing commercial automobiles in the 1900s. During this time, the U.S built around 2000 firms that produced one or more vehicles. By 1920, this number was trimmed down to 100 and finally 44 in 1924. By 1976, the Motor Vehicle Association consisted of 11 members only. The same thing happened across Europe and Japan as well.
The United States first produced a 3 HP curved-dash Olds-mobile vehicle and distributed it to the public in 1901. Over 400 units were sold to the masses in the country. This firm was noticed by the automobile industry, and other industry players like Ford followed suit, where they sold 1,700 cars in their first year of operation. By 1920, Ford Motor Company had an impressive 1 million sales.
The impact of automobile manufacturing to the U.S, European and Japan economies
In the beginning, automobiles were only affordable to the wealthy. However, as time went by, these vehicles became popular with travelers using them to connect from one location of the city to the other. This prompted North America and Europe to bring down the prices of vehicles so they could be more accessible to the middle-class.
Henry Ford did two things: He manufactured cars that could be afforded by a majority of the masses. Secondly, he compensated the efforts of his laborers in a way that would allow them to afford cars they manufactured themselves. This relieved them from the burden of having to stay near rail lines that they relied upon as a means of transport to work. As a result, many states in the U.S established motor fuel taxes that generated revenue for maintaining transport facilities.
Conclusion of the history of the automobile
Before the advent of automobiles, people lived in cities and worked in farms or lived in towns and worked in towns. And since transport was now convenient, it brought the idea of commuting from the suburbs to the workplace and back. The economy expanded so fast, thanks to the building of new highways, fast-food production, gas stations, and many other facilities that hired a significant part of the population.