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BENZ MOTOR CAR NO. 1 is a three-wheeled, gas-powered, horseless carriage. 1. (Image credit: Science and Community Image Gallery / Contributors via Getty Images)
When Was The First Gas Car Made
Finding out who invented the car is a long and winding road, and finding that one person is responsible is not a simple matter. If you fast-forward automotive development from GPS, past anti-lock brakes and automatic transmissions, and even the Model T, you get the No. 1 Benz motor car. 1, The missing link between cars and horse-drawn carriages.
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Karl Benz patented a three-wheeled motor car known as the “Motorwagen” in 1886. It was truly the first modern automobile, meaning Benz is often identified with cars. Benz also patented its own throttle system, spark plugs, transmission, water box, carburetor and other basics for the car. Benz eventually created an automobile company that still exists today as the Daimler Group.
Benz patented the first gasoline-powered car, but was not the original visionary of self-driving vehicles. Some highlights from the car’s history:
The word “car” meant different things at different times. At the end of the 19th century, a car was a “street car”, i.e. before the tram, street cars were “horse cars” which were horse-drawn carriages on railways. The word “car” meant “a horseless carriage”. ” or perhaps became available for what was called the motor car. The “car,” as it was called in America, was itself imported from the French,” Tom Standage, A Brief History of Motion: From the Wheel, to the Car, to Comes Next (in new tab opens) ” (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2021) says All About History (opens in new tab) magazine.
The internal combustion engine is essential to the modern automobile. This type of engine uses explosive fuel to push the piston into the cylinder. The movement of the crankshaft piston connected to the wheels of the car rotates the drive shaft. Like cars, the internal combustion engine has a long history. A non-exhaustive list of trends includes:
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“We generally think of the Benz Patent-Motorwagen 1886 as the first proper car. Karl Benz built an entirely new vehicle around an internal combustion engine and used bicycle parts to build it. It was actually a motorcycle and therefore a car. Many people have attributed his innovation to different things. It was necessary to try and while it may have seemed obvious at the time, it wasn’t at the time,” Standage said.
Electric cars are very popular today, but their history dates back to the late 19th century. (Image credit: Heritage Images / Contributor)
According to the US Department of Energy (opens in new tab), electric cars were available in the mid-19th century, but fell out of favor after Henry Ford developed his Model T. However, electric cars have been hitting the ground running in recent times. According to CNBC (opens in new tab), about 535,000 electric cars were sold in the US in 2021. This technology, like the internal combustion engine, has a long history that is difficult to attribute to a single inventor.
According to Autostory (opens in new tab), two inventors are usually credited with independently inventing the first electric car in 1930, Robert Anderson, a Scottish inventor, and Thomas Davenport, an American inventor. French physicist Gaston Plante invented the first rechargeable battery in 1865, replacing the non-rechargeable batteries used in the first models of electric cars. Following are some of the innovations:
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Electric cars continued to gain popularity, and in 1895, the first automobile race in the United States—a 52-mile “lap” from Chicago to Waukegan, Illinois, and back—took the winner 10 hours and 23 minutes (average speed 5 mph .. / 8 km/h ) – six entries, including two electric cars, according to Smithsonian Magazine (opens in new tab). By 1900, New York City had about 60 electric cars in its taxi service, and according to the Department of Energy, about a third of all cars in the United States were electric.
When Henry Ford introduced the Model T in 1908, the cheap, high-efficiency gasoline-powered car became popular and the electric car began to decline, according to the Department of Energy (opens in new tab). By the 1920s, gasoline was cheaper and more readily available, and more Americans were traveling farther afield. Electric cars did not have the range of petrol powered cars and many rural towns still did not have access to electricity, so petrol powered cars were chosen.
“At the beginning of the 20th century, electric cars were marginally more popular than combustion engine cars in America. However, their batteries were very poor. Electric cars are only good today because of batteries first developed for laptops and camcorders,” he said. Standage said.
Due to rising oil prices, gasoline shortages, and dependence on foreign oil, Congress passed the Electric Vehicle Research, Development, and Demonstration Act (opens in new tab) in 1976. Many car companies began researching and designing new fuel and electricity efficient alternatives, although not much took off until the 1990s.
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Developed and released in Japan in 1997, the Toyota Prius was the world’s first mass-produced hybrid and was available worldwide in 2000. The Honda Insight Hybrid was released in the United States in 1999.
Tesla Motors (opens in new tab) began development and production of an all-electric luxury car capable of traveling more than two hundred miles on a single charge in 2003, and released the first model in 2008. The Chevrolet Volt (opens in new cars. tab) , released in 2010, was the first plug-in hybrid available that used a gasoline engine to extend the car’s range when the battery was depleted. Also released in 2010, the Nissan LEAF (opens in new tab) was more accessible to the public than the Model S.
Karl Benz (right), inventor of the first practical modern automobile, pictured next to his wife Bertha in 1893. (Credit: Contributor via Heritage Images / Getty Images)
Karl Benz is credited with inventing the car because his car was practical, used an internal combustion engine that ran on gasoline, and worked like a modern car today.
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Benz was born in 1844 in the city of Karlsruhe in southwestern Germany. His father was a railway worker who died in an accident when Benz was two years old. Although he was poor, Benz’s mother supported him and his education. Entered the University of Karlsruhe at the age of 15 and graduated in 1864 with a degree in mechanical engineering.
Benz’s first venture grew into an iron and metal casting workshop. However, his new bride, Bertha Ringer, used her dowry to finance a new factory to build gas engines. With the proceeds, Benz was free to build a horseless, gas-powered carriage.
Benz had built three prototypes of his privately built motor in 1888, when Bertha decided it was time to make paper. Bertha took the latest model early in the morning and drove her two teenage sons 66 miles to her mother’s house. She had to make amends with shoe leather, hairpins and garter belts along the way.
The successful ride showed Benz how to improve the car and showed skeptics that the car was useful. The following year, Benz showed the Model 3 Motorwagon at the Paris World’s Fair.
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“The meaning of this journey is legendary but there is a truth to it. During this journey Bertha discovered various things such as the brakes need to be better when going up hills and the lower gears need to be better. She stopped at a cobbler. And to improve them the brake pads should be leathered. After that, Carl took the approach,” Standage said.
“Bertha demonstrated that this car you could use for a road trip (she traveled 40 miles) convinced Carl that he had a marketable product. He put it up for sale at a trade show and people were amazed. He started. They, along with the rights, in Europe. Selling to others so they can produce them.”
Benz died in 1929, two years later he merged with fellow automaker Gottlieb Daimler to form the Daimler Group, maker of Mercedes-Benz as it is today.
Automotive technology has advanced at an incredible pace, as evidenced by our breakdown of Formula 1 racing cars.
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If you are interested in learning more about all this information about car technology, here is the gearbox and how it works for you.
Lauren Cox is a writer for Live Science. She writes health and technology programs, discusses new science, and specializes in geek news. Her work has previously appeared online at ABC News, Technology Review, and Popular Mechanics. Lauren loves moles, literature, black coffee, big dogs and mountain climbing
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