History of Motor Cars

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Few people know that the first vehicle able to transport people or tow heavy loads with the help of a mechanical device drove in France as early as 1769. It was a steam engine driven cart designed and built by Nicolas Joseph Cugnot.It was used for a period of two years by the army as an artillery tractor. Since this "car" was quite impractical it was abandoned and no further development of steam driven cars took place in France. In England however several steam engine driven vehicles were developed between 1800 and 1865. In 1865 the Locomotive Act became active requiring self propelled vehicles on public roads to be preceded by a walking man waving a red flag and blowing a horn. This law stopped further car development in the UK for the rest of the 19th century. The law stayed in vigour till 1896, the red flag was dropped in 1878. The development of steam driven vehicles in the UK centered on the construction of railway locomotives in the second half of the 19th century. In many countries all over the world more or less similar steam engined automobiles have been constructed in this period. From 1828 on many inventors have been developing electric vehicles with a peak in production and sales in the first decennium of the 20th century.The electric cars had only a low range of travelling distance. This was a big disadvantage in this period of extension of road infrastructure. The electric car lost the battle against the petrol powered car but at the end of the 20th century new developments in electric car techniques have given this type of car new possibilities. Probably the most important change in the history of the automobile was the invention of the four stroke petrol engine by Nikolaus Otto in 1867. This internal combustion engine is still the main power source of our cars today. Similarly Rudolph Diesel invented the four stroke Diesel engine in 1893. It's

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